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Asteroid poses little threat to Earth
Posted: Thu, Jul 25, 2002, 9:05 AM ET (1305 GMT)
Asteroid impact illustration (Don Davis/NASA) A recently-discovered asteroid has only a very slim chance of colliding with the Earth in 2019, despite sensationalistic stories to the contrary. Astronomers reported this week that asteroid, 2002 NT7, has a chance of colliding with the Earth on February 1, 2019. However, those odds are quite long: anywhere from 60,000-to-1 to 250,000-to-1, according to recent reports. The asteroid, estimated to be up to two kilometers across, rates a one on the Torino Scale, which means it warrants further observations but does not yet pose a significant impact risk. The asteroid did briefly rise above 0 on the Palermo Scale, a separate measure of impact risk, the first asteroid to do so. "While this prediction is of scientific interest, the probability of impact is not large enough to warrant public concern," a statement on JPL's NEO web site noted. Nonetheless, concerns about any possible impact were fanned by several articles published Wednesday that claimed that the asteroid was "on [a] collision course" with the Earth.
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