WASHINGTON, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- U.S. space agency NASA said Friday that it's 99.998 percent certain that newly discovered asteroid 2013 TV135 will not smash into our Earth in 2032.
The space rock, estimated to be about 400 meters in diameter, made a close approach to Earth on Sept. 16, when it came within about 6.7 million kilometers. It was discovered on Oct. 8, 2013, by astronomers working at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory in Ukraine.
NASA said this asteroid could be back in Earth's neighborhood in 2032 and at least for the moment, it could not rule out the chance of an impact then. The space agency, however, was also quick to try and calm people down, determining the impact probability as being at only one in 63,000.
"As observations continue, the impact probability will be updated and there is a 99.998 percent chance that the possibility of impact will be ruled out," NASA spokesman David Agle told Xinhua.
Even if it does hit, it doesn't mean the end for humans. "While the impact of such an object would be destructive over a large region, it would not rise to the level of a global disaster," Agle said.
NASA believed that with more observations of the newly discovered asteroid, the initial orbit calculations will be improved and the most likely result will be a dramatic reduction, or complete elimination, of any risk of Earth impact.
"This is a relatively new discovery," Don Yeomans, manager of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a statement. "With more observations, I fully expect we will be able to significantly reduce, or rule out entirely, any impact probability for the foreseeable future."