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Remember all that talk about Asteroid 2011 AG5 and how it might actually hit Earth in the year 2040? Looks like we dodged a bullet.
New observations now seem to indicate that the asteroid, which is about 460 feet wide, will pass harmlessly by Earth in 28 years.
When it was first discovered last year, scientists said that the space rock had a 1-in-500 chance at hitting out home planet.
The team behind this latest study says the asteroid in 2040 will pass by us at a distance of about 550,000 miles…that’s about twice the distance between Earth and the moon.
“These were extremely difficult observations of a very faint object,” said the University of Hawaii’s Richard Wainscoat in a prepared statement. “We were surprised by how easily the Gemini telescope was able to recover such a faint asteroid so low in the sky.”
A collision with Earth would have resulted in an explosion carrying about 100 megatons of energy, several thousand times stronger than the atomic bombs that closed out World War II.
About 95 percent of the biggest near-Earth asteroids have been identified, according to NASA. Their Asteroid Watch program, which monitors nearby space rocks, is based at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
More in the video below.
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