As asteroid nears, NASA says don't worry

Oct 18 2013 - 12:42pm

Images

FILE - In this Friday, Feb. 15, 2013 file photo provided by Chelyabinsk.ru, a meteorite contrail is seen over the Ural Mountains' city of Chelyabinsk, about 1500 kilometers (930 miles) east of Moscow, Russia. Scientists on Wednesday recovered what could be the largest part of this meteor from Chebarkul Lake outside the city. They weighed it using a giant steelyard balance, which displayed 570 kilograms (1,256 pounds) before it broke. (AP Photo/Chelyabinsk.ru, Yekaterina Pustynnikova)
FILE - In this Friday, Feb. 15, 2013 file photo provided by Chelyabinsk.ru, a meteorite contrail is seen over the Ural Mountains' city of Chelyabinsk, about 1500 kilometers (930 miles) east of Moscow, Russia. Scientists on Wednesday recovered what could be the largest part of this meteor from Chebarkul Lake outside the city. They weighed it using a giant steelyard balance, which displayed 570 kilograms (1,256 pounds) before it broke. (AP Photo/Chelyabinsk.ru, Yekaterina Pustynnikova)

WASHINGTON -- NASA says a big asteroid that whizzed by Earth last month unnoticed is probably nothing to worry about when it returns much closer in 19 years.

NASA Near-Earth Object program manager Donald Yeomans said there is a 1 in 48,000 chance that the 1,300-foot asteroid will hit Earth when it comes back on Aug. 26, 2032.

The asteroid called 2013 TV135 was discovered Oct. 8, nearly a month after it came within 4.2 million miles of Earth. Yeomans said as astronomers observe and track it better, they will likely calculate that it has no chance of hitting Earth.

Although big, the asteroid is considerably smaller than the type that caused the dinosaur extinction.

NASA posted a "reality check" about the asteroid in response to some media reports.

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