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Asteroid 2013 TX68 to Buzz Earth at 32,212 MPH in March

Image: Asteroid 2013 TX68 to Buzz Earth at 32,212 MPH in March
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By    |   Monday, 08 Feb 2016 11:49 AM

Asteroid 2013 TX68 will buzz Earth in March, possibly coming as close as only 11,000 miles, much closer than the 1.3 million miles the space rock passed our planet in 2013.

Scientists at the space agency's Center for Near Earth Object Studies in Pasadena, California said in a news release there is no chance of it actually hitting Earth.

"The possibilities of collision on any of the three future flyby dates are far too small to be of any real concern," said Paul Chodas, manager of the center. "I fully expect any future observations to reduce the probability even more."

According to the website EarthSky.org,, Asteroid 2013 TX68 is about 125 feet in diameter, more than double the size of the asteroid that broke through Earth's atmosphere over Russia in Chelyabinsk in February 2013.

That asteroid shattered windows in six Russian cities when it broke through planet's atmosphere and damaged thousands of buildings. The website said an asteroid the size of Asteroid 2013 TX68 would create a shock wave possibly twice of the 2013 incident, which caused more than 1,500 Russians to seek medical treatment.

NASA researchers said while they cannot predict the asteroid's exact path, they believe they can predict that it will not hit Earth and will likely move away from the planet in future passes.

"This asteroid's orbit is quite uncertain, and it will be hard to predict where to look for it," said Chodas. "There is a chance that the asteroid will be picked up by our asteroid search telescopes when it safely flies past us next month, providing us with data to more precisely define its orbit around the sun."

NASA scientists said Asteroid 2013 TX68 is currently whizzing through space at 32,212 miles per hour.

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Asteroid 2013 TX68 will buzz Earth in March, possibly coming as close as only 11,000 miles, much closer than the 1.3 million miles the space rock passed our planet in 2013.
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Monday, 08 Feb 2016 11:49 AM
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