Asteroid Shock: Earth Escaped an Immense Space Rock

A near-Earth asteroid called Asteroid Apophis is one of the biggest rocks on the Torino rating. It has a dimension of 370 meters in diameter. Apophis was successfully removed from the Torino Scale in 2004.

What is the Torino Scale? A scale is an innovative tool useful in categorizing the impact hazard related to near-Earth objects such as comets or asteroids. It also uses a color code scale with white, yellow, red, green, and orange to determine the most severe results. A four rating, however, would mean the highest potential of an Earth encounter with an asteroid. Another asteroid, 2004 VD17, scored a value of 2 on the Torino scale. It represents the second asteroid in risk-analyzing history. Asteroid 2011 AG5 has reached level 1, and it still has a chance of 1 in 650 of striking Earth in 2040. The asteroid has around 140 meters in size.

When should the scientists worry? When an encounter is somewhere about a decade away, scientists must be considering it a problem.

What could happen though if a near-Earth object reaches a ten score? If an asteroid, for example, would reach a ten, then a collision would be very close. It would also cause one of the biggest catastrophes, leaving Earth shattered by global climatic changes, with impacts on land or oceans. It is believed that such events occur on average once per 100,000 years. We are, however, safe, because no near-Earth object has ever reached above level 4. Don Yeomans, manager of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office from Pasadena, spoke publicly about the importance of identifying such events. He said, “[…] I fully expect we will be able to significantly reduce or rule out entirely any impact probability for the foreseeable future.”

Full List of Asteroids That Could Hit Our Planet

  • 101955 Bennu, Year 2182 with 560 meters in diameter and a 1000/1 probability;
  • 2014 AG5, Year 2040 with 140 meters in diameter and a 1/625 probability;
  • 99942 Apophis, Year 2068 with 270 meters in diameter and a 1/150,000 probability;
  • 2014 JO25, Year 2027 with 650 meters in diameter and a 1/8300 probability.

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