When it comes to the vast distances in space, a near miss isn’t actually that close typically. NASA and other agencies around the world try to track asteroids and other objects in space, even if they have a very minuscule chance of striking the earth. An asteroid called 2011 AG5 is one space rock that does have a scant chance of hitting Earth in 2040.
According to NASA, the asteroid is 460 feet across and has less than 1% of chance of striking the planet. However, the asteroid was initially feared to have a more significant chance of striking the earth. The asteroid was first discovered by the NASA supported Catalina Sky Survey operated at the University of Arizona.
The asteroid was closely studied for nine months before it was too far away to observe. According to scientists, the critical period will be in 2023. That year, the asteroid will be approximately 1.1 million miles from Earth, and if it passes through a specific 227-mile wide area of space known as a keyhole in early February of that year, the chance for impact rises. Scientists say that the Earth’s gravitational pull could affect the asteroid just enough if it passes through that exact piece of space to impact the earth on February 5, 2040.
[via TG Daily]