Asteroid will miss earth, but may kill satellites

Asteroid will miss earth, but may kill satellites

Asteroid will miss earth, but may kill satellites

A 150-foot-wide, 140,000 tonne asteroid may come so close to the earth early next year that it might destroy communications satellites.

The asteroid, DA14, discovered by astronomers at LaSagra Observatory in Spain, is estimated to come near enough to the earth on February 15, 2013, that it could disrupt geosynchronous satellites.

While Nasa have said the chance of the asteroid hitting the earth is 0.031 per cent, if it did it would hit with the force of a 2.4 megaton explosion, similar to the mysterious Tunguska event of 1908 which levelled hundreds of square miles of Siberian forest, Daily Mail reported. The asteroid’s exact orbital path is being determined by Nasa and astronomers are erring on the side of caution in case it does come in contact with a satellite.

“That’s very unlikely, but we can’t rule it out,” said Paul Chodas, a planetary astronomer at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena California. While the the asteroid is currently a ‘fuzzy little blob’, as seen through telescopes, 2012 DA14 may eventually come to pass 21,000 miles away from the Earth putting synchronous satellites in the firing line.

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