The statement that Russian scientists have discovered a huge asteroid that could threaten Earth in the near future is erroneous.
According to the latest reports, scientists from Russia discovered a 1,312-foot (400 meters) “Cosmic Stone”, which could be a danger to the Earth. However, calculations by NASA and the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Mass., Show that the asteroid 2014 UR116 does not pose a danger to the Earth for at least the next 150 years.
“According to press reports, the asteroid designated 2014 UR116, which was discovered on October 27, 2014 at the MASTER-II observatory in Kislovodsk, Russia, is a danger to the Earth,” said officials from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California on Monday ( December 8). "Although the size of the asteroid reaches 400 meters, and it has a period of revolution around the Sun of 3 years, occasionally approaching the environs of the Earth, the object does not pose a threat, as its orbital path does not pass close enough to the Earth."
Asteroid UR116 Motion Animation
The asteroid UR116 was first seen about 6 years ago, NASA said in a statement. Scientists have already counted the orbit of the cosmic cobblestone around the Sun and found that it poses no threat to the earth. To track potentially dangerous space objects (so-called objects in near-Earth space or NEO), NASA helps amateur astronomers and professionals around the world. After people discover an NEO, experts calculate the orbit of a comet or an asteroid around a star to see if it crosses the Earth's orbit.
Researchers continue to find all the new NEOs, but astronomers have already successfully discovered most of them. NASA officials estimated that they found more than 90 percent of the NEOs, which are 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) in diameter or more, in the “Earth region”.
NASA plans to launch a robotic mission in order to redirect the asteroid to the lunar orbit, so that astronauts will be able to explore the asteroid somewhere in the 2020s. This mission will also provide an opportunity for NASA to collect as much data as possible on how to change the orbit of a space rock if it threatens the Earth sometime.
Asteroids are also important objects of science for researchers interested in learning more about the beginning of the solar system. Scientists believe that asteroids, like comets, are remnants of the origin of the solar system. Therefore, if you learn more about their composition, it will help shed light on the history of the Earth and other planets.