Drink up people. I’m no mathematician but those don’t exactly seem like great odds. I mean sure it’s a small chance but it’s not like those odds are…wait for it…astronomical. Mark your calendars for August 26th, 2032 cause that might be a pretty important day in human history.

If the 2013 TV135 collided with Earth it would create an explosion estimated to be equivalent to 2,500 megatons of TNT – 50 times greater than the biggest nuclear bomb ever detonated. This thing is so big it’s technically considered a “minor-planet”.

Ukrainian astronomers have discovered a large asteroid that could hit Earth in 2032, though the impact risk is minimal, according to current estimates.

The 410-meter-wide (1,350-foot) minor planet, which has been named 2013 TV135, was first discovered last weekend by the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory in southern Ukraine, according to the International Astronomer Union’s Minor Planet Center.

As of Thursday, the discovery had been confirmed by five more astronomy groups, including in Italy, Spain, the UK and Russia’s Siberian republic of Buryatia, the center said on its website.

What’s even scarier is that this isn’t the only object that’s slated to come extremely close to Earth in 2032. Another object categorized as J002E3 which passed passed by Earth in 2003 and was actually caught in Earth’s gravity and orbited inside the orbit of the Moon until the Moon slingshotted that bitch right back into deep space. J002E3 is scheduled to pass back extremely close to Earth in 2032 as well.

GIF of J002E3’s approach Earth fly-by in 2003

j002e3d

Scientist’s aren’t exactly sure what J002E3 is but it’s presumed to be the S-IVB third stage for Apollo 12. From Wikipedia:

When it was first discovered, it was quickly found that the object was in an orbit around Earth. Astronomers were surprised at this, as the Moon is the only large object in orbit around the Earth, and anything else would have been ejected long ago due to perturbations with the Earth, the Moon and the Sun.

Therefore, it probably entered into Earth orbit very recently, yet there was no recently launched spacecraft that matched the orbit of J002E3. One explanation could have been that it was a 30-meter-wide piece of rock, but University of Arizona astronomers found that the object’s electromagnetic spectrum was consistent with white titanium dioxide paint, the same paint used by NASA for the Saturn V rockets. Back-tracing its orbit showed that the object had been orbiting the Sun for 31 years and had last been in the vicinity of the Earth in 1971. This seemed to suggest that it was a part of the Apollo 14 mission, but NASA knew the whereabouts of all hardware used for this mission; the third stage, for instance, was deliberately crashed into the Moon for seismic studies.

The most likely explanation appears to be the S-IVB third stage for Apollo 12. NASA had originally planned to direct the S-IVB into a solar orbit, but an extra long burn of the ullage motors meant that venting the remaining propellant in the tank of the S-IVB did not give the rocket stage enough energy to escape the Earth–Moon system, and instead the stage ended up in a semi-stable orbit around the Earth after passing by the Moon on November 18, 1969.

Tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 2032!

h/t en.ria.ru

Posted by James Poling

A socialist, tinkerer, thinker, question asker and all around curiosity seeker. If you'd like to reach me you can use the contact link above or email me at jamespoling [at] gmail [dot] com.

One Comment

  1. I will be long dead by then so I don’t care, were something to hit in the next few hours I wouldn’t care either.

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