CALIFORNIA (WDTN) – NASA observers are keeping an eye on an asteroid that they say will fly by earth on March 8.
The original date was said to be March 5 but that has been updated after more observations.
The observations come from archived images provided by the NASA-funded Pan-STARRS asteroid survey.
“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 NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies. “The data indicate that this small asteroid will probably pass much farther away from Earth than previously thought.”
Marco Micheli of the European Space Agency’s NEO Coordination Centre in Frascati, Italy, is the astronomer who identified the object in the archived images, measured its position and provided these observations to the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
CNEOS’s new prediction for 2013 TX68 is that it will fly by roughly 3 million miles from our planet. There is still a chance that it could pass closer, but certainly no closer than 15,000 miles above Earth’s surface. The new observations also better constrain the path of 2013 TX68 in future years;
“There is no concern whatsoever regarding this asteroid – unless you were interested in seeing it with a telescope,” said Chodas. “Prospects for observing this asteroid, which were not very good to begin with, are now even worse because the asteroid is likely to be farther away, and therefore dimmer than previously believed.”
This information comes from the NASA website.