Tags: super bowl | asteroid | potentially hazardous | earth | fly-by

Super Bowl Asteroid to Make 'Potentially Hazardous' Fly-by

Super Bowl Asteroid to Make 'Potentially Hazardous' Fly-by
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Wednesday, 24 January 2018 09:11 AM

A Super Bowl day asteroid labeled as "potentially hazardous" will make an Earth fly-by just before kickoff, but NASA scientists are hoping it won’t make an impression as the Patriots and Eagles try to impress a nationwide TV audience.

Asteroid 2002 AJ129 is expected to make its closest 76,000-miles-per-hour approach to Earth at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time, USA Today reported, two hours before New England and Philadelphia take the field at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

The asteroid, according to NASA, will be some 2.6 million miles from Earth, roughly 10 times the distance between Earth and moon.

"We have been tracking this asteroid for over 14 years and know its orbit very accurately," said Paul Chodas, manager of NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

"Our calculations indicate that asteroid 2002 AJ129 has no chance – zero – of colliding with Earth on Feb. 4 or any time over the next 100 years," Chodas continued.

So why has 2002 AJ129 been designated as a "potentially hazardous" asteroid?

According to NASA, the asteroid meets two preset criteria for such a designation – it comes within 4.65 million miles of Earth and it is larger than 500 feet in diameter.

NASA believes the asteroid is somewhere from 0.3 miles to 0.75 miles across.

The space agency discovered 2002 AJ129 on Jan. 15, 2002, during the former NASA-sponsored Near Earth Asteroid Tracking project at the Maui Space Surveillance Site on Haleakala, Hawaii. It has been tracked by NASA ever since.

The Telegraph reported in October there was an asteroid that came much closer when 2002 TC4, estimated to be the size of a house, came some 26,000 miles from Earth. The asteroid passed over Antarctica at 16,000 mph.

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A Super Bowl day asteroid labeled as "potentially hazardous" will make an Earth fly-by just before kickoff, but NASA scientists are hoping it won’t make an impression as the Patriots and Eagles try to impress a nationwide TV audience.
super bowl, asteroid, potentially hazardous, earth, fly-by
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2018-11-24
Wednesday, 24 January 2018 09:11 AM
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