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What are the chances that the ‘Lost’ Asteroid will hit us?

NASA asteroid impact 2007 FT3 space near-Earth asteroids near-Earth comets

NASA has just warned us about a possible asteroid impact in 2024. The asteroid, called 2007 FT3, is currently floating around in space and there’s a teeny-tiny chance it might hit Earth next year.

This isn’t the first time NASA has detected an asteroid approaching Earth, and it certainly won’t be the last. In fact, there are over 32,000 known near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) and more than 120 known short-period near-Earth comets (NECs) that could cause some form of destruction if not successfully avoided.

NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) keeps track of most of these asteroids. They’ve estimated that 2007 FT3 might strike our planet as soon as October 2024. However, NASA is already working on ways to avert this potential disaster.

The “Lost Asteroid” 2007 FT3 Might Be Heading Our Way

So, back in 2007, scientists stumbled upon this mysterious object floating through space. They gave it a fancy name – 2007 FT3 – and discovered that it was actually an asteroid.

But here’s where things take a turn for the unknown. Soon after its discovery, this rock of uncertainty lost its flight path, and scientists completely lost track of it. It’s like the same feeling you get when you misplace your favorite pair of socks – you search high and low, but they seem to have vanished into thin air.

To make matters even spookier, this “lost asteroid” only had a brief period of observation, a mere 1.2 days, before it mysteriously disappeared from sight. Even with all their targeted observations, scientists couldn’t find it again. And now, get this, it hasn’t been seen since 2007.

Impact Probability and Potential Damage

NASA predicts that the asteroid 2007 FT3 has a 0.0000087% chance or 1 in 11.5 million probability of striking Earth in October 2024. Another possibility is in March 2024, with a probability of 0.0000096% or 1 in 10 million. In both cases, the asteroid has the potential to release energy equivalent to detonating 2.6 billion tons of TNT. However, NASA also estimates that the amount of energy released by the collision would only cause regional destruction and would not affect the globe on a larger scale.

According to NASA, the most likely date for the asteroid to strike Earth is October 5, 2024. It’s worth noting that there are other asteroids, such as 29075 (1950 DA), that could also potentially cause devastation, but with much lower probabilities.

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