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Asteroid May Hit Within 2 Years 2006-06-22

Posted by clype in Discovery, Science, Statistics.

A big newly discovered asteroid could collide with Earth in just over two years.

The 800 metre diamater asteroid would cause widespread devastation if it did hit the planet. ‘New Scientist’ magazine says the odds of impact are just one in six million.

Mr.Dan Durda, an asteroid expert and president of ‘The B612 Foundation’, says the discovery of the asertoid — on 2006-04-27 — highlights how little time we might have to prepare.

[picture of dan durda]
‘There really isn’t a whole lot we could do,

‘Most of the options that don’t resemble a Hollywood movie involve deflection techniques that require many years or decades.’

Other than stockpiling food and supplies and evacuating the regions most likely to be affected, he said, we would have to ‘”hunker down” and take the impact’.

However, it is likely we would have longer to prepare for a collision. The second-most imminent threat now on the list is the asteroid ‘Apophis’, which has about a 1-in-6000 chance of hitting Earth in 2036.




1. dr. gonzo - 2006-06-29

From New Scientist: “Update 5 May 2006: The newly discovered asteroid 2006 HZ51 has now been removed from NASA-JPL’s list of potentially hazardous objects. The Earth is now safe from that particular threat, which was never anything more than a long-shot with odds of only one in six million. As explained in the original story (below), astronomers assumed that further observations would rule out any danger for the next century at least – and that is indeed what happened.”

As for Apophis, further observation has shown it to have a slim chance of hitting Earth, along with 2004 VD17.

Apophis odds: 1 in 38,000
2004 VD17: 1 in in 63,000

You can see the NASA information here.

As is typical journalists blew this out of proportion. 1 in 6 million is almost no chance of hitting Earth anyway. As a matter of fact 1 in 63,000 represents a 99.99840000% of 2004 VD17 NOT impacting Earth and 1 in 38,000 represents a 99.99740000% of Apophis NOT impacting Earth.

Even a small asteroid, such as 2006 JY26, with a 1 in 185 chance of hitting Earth has a 99.46000000% chance of missing Earth.

I have posted on asteroids numerous times, don’t be fooled by doomsdayers. Big asteroids make big headlines. Hope this helps clear some things up.

2. dr. gonzo - 2006-06-29

I posted a long comment that was link heavy, it was probably flagged as spam but it’s not, it contains some useful info.

3. Clipped News - 2006-07-03

No problemo; thank you for your contribution. This news was clipped so that we (and you) could refer to it and have a means of reply.

4. Franko - 2010-10-30


“The question often arises in the general public: Can we in fact do something about this. And the answer is yes. We don’t even have to develop new technologies. Our existing space technology enables us to actually slightly change the orbit of an asteroid that we see headed an impact 15 or 20 or 50 years ahead of us.”

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