Not only uncertainly, but also a ton of concern and conspiracy theory…
The asteroid 2013 TX68 is rolling past Earth in March of this year .. at first NASA and other scientists were predicting a fly by of 9 million miles. Or 11,000 .. Yes, 11,000 with three zeroes, which is exceptionally close and much more visible than one at 9 milmiles would be.
NASA has been attempting to reassure people, saying the asteroid is not going to hit.
According to NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, the asteroid will be flying at a safe distance from Earth – much farther away from Earth than previously thought – thereby reconfirming that the asteroid 2013 TX68 doesn’t pose a risk.
“We already knew this asteroid, 2013 TX68, would safely fly past Earth in early March, but this additional data allow us to get a better handle on its orbital path,” said Paul Chodas, manager of CNEOS told the press. “The data indicate that this small asteroid will probably pass.”
CNEO projects the fly by to be 3 million miles away. Seems safe enough. And even more: There will be no impact this century, the experts say. This is much different than the original fears of September 2017 as a danger date from this rock.
The UK SUN was one of the news rags from across the pond that excellerated some fears and conspiracy this weekend with a headline that there is a chance the planet will be hit by this asteroid. Their headline: “NASA admits there is a chance”.. The SUN did not provide any new or useful information, and did not capture the recent calculations that this rock would be 3 million miles of safe distance away.
But that is not to say all of this is just plain wrong.
I often think back to 2013 when Chelyanbinsk was hit by the sky falling. It was unexpected and frightening. All the while the planet was watching a giant asteroid safely pass by earth–though people at the time predicted a strike and end of the world scenario–this one hit Russia. Without notice. Without prediction.. and without any warning.
That is always in the back of my mind when the ‘nothing to see hear’ statements get made by space agencies. They are experts–and lots of amateur experts also say this will be a complete non issue in the history of humanity. But experts and amateurs alike did not see the group of asteroid coming by the planet with the big one in February 2013 either…
So let’s move to March 5 without fear. Without trepidation .But … with a watchful eye to the sky. If someone screams the sky is falling, at least look up before you dismiss them.