Potentially hazardous asteroid 'has 1 in 1000 chance of hitting Earth in 2182'

Written by: Abdul Nisar
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Washington, July 28 (ANI): A study claims that Earth could be a target for a possibly dangerous collision with an asteroid in the year 2182.

"The total impact probability of asteroid '(101955) 1999 RQ36' can be estimated in 0.00092 -approximately one-in-a-thousand chance-, but what is most surprising is that over half of this chance (0.00054) corresponds to 2182," said María Eugenia Sansaturio, co-author of the study and researcher of Universidad de Valladolid (UVA).

Researchers from the University of Pisa (Italy), the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (USA) and INAF-IASF-Rome (Italy) assisted him.

Virtual Impactors (VIs) are sets of statistical uncertainty leading to collisions with the Earth on different dates of the XXII century.

Two VIs appear in 2182 with more than half the chance of impact.

An 'orbital uncertainty' other than gravity, caused by Yarkovsky effect slightly modifies the orbits of the Solar System's small objects.

Between 2060 and 2080 this effect increases by 4 times because the asteroid will approach the Earth in those years, and it increases again on a slight basis until another approach in 2162, it then decreases, and 2182 is the most likely year for the collision.

Sansaturio concluded, "If this object had been discovered after 2080, the deflection would require a technology that is not currently available.

"Therefore, this example suggests that impact monitoring, which up to date does not cover more than 80 or 100 years, may need to encompass more than one century."

"Thus, the efforts to deviate this type of objects could be conducted with moderate resources, from a technological and financial point of view," the scientist added.

The work has been published in Icarus journal. (ANI)

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