The end of the world : How NASA will deal with a killer asteroid

Although the odds of an asteroid striking Earth are extremely low (a 5,000-foot asteroid is only expected to hit the Earth about once every 1 million years), NASA does have a plan of action, in case an errant space rock were making its way towards the planet.

When a survey discovers what could be a new near-Earth object (NEO), it gets logged with the Minor Planet Center in a public forum.

If a newly discovered object does look like it is on a course that would bring it near Earth in the next six days, the Minor Planet Center’s system sends out an automated text message or email to a select group of people at the center and NASA.

If the asteroid actually looks like it has a chance of striking the planet NASA notifies the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and then soon after, issues a press release to inform the public.


DATE : 4 December 2016

SOURCE : Mashable

Near-Earth Asteroid 2016 VA – very close encounter

The near-Earth asteroid 2016 VA was discovered by the Mount Lemmon Sky Survey (part of the Catalina Sky Survey) in Arizona (USA) on 1 November 2016 and announced later the same day by the Minor Planet Center.

The object was going to have a very close encounter with the Earth, at 0.2 lunar distances (c 80,000 km).

The asteroid was believed to be 7 to 22 meters wide, was traveling about 48,000 mph (77,000 km/h) relative to Earth during the close encounter.


DATE : 2 November 2016

SOURCE : The Virtual Telescope Project 2.0