The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

October 18, 2013

Astronomers say asteroid might collide with Earth in 2032

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia —

Ukrainian astronomers say an asteroid might collide with Earth in a couple of decades, a Russian news service reported Thursday.

Space watchers from the observatory in the Crimean peninsula said they discovered an asteroid about 1,345 feet in diameter, which they call 2013 TV135, that is approaching Earth at a potentially dangerous trajectory, RIA Novosti said.

The astronomers calculated the date of a potential collision as Aug. 26, 2032, the news service said, but they acknowledged that the odds of an impact as 1 in 63,000.

The force of such a possible collision could be the equivalent of setting off about 2.5 megatons of TNT, RIA Novosti reported.

The discovery, which was made Saturday, was confirmed by two Russian observatories and by Italian, British and Spanish astronomers, RIA Novosti reported.

“A 400-meter asteroid is threatening to blow up the Earth,” Russian Vice Premier Dmitry Rogozin, in charge of his nation’s space research, wrote Wednesday on his Twitter account. “Here is a super target for the national cosmonautics.”

Meanwhile, divers working Wednesday in Chebarkul Lake in Russia’s Ural Mountains raised what could be a large piece of the meteor that exploded over the region in February.

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