Asteroid 2011 AG5

Asteroid 2011 AG5 has a 1 in 625 chance of hitting Earth on Feb. 5, 2040. So, will this a 140-meter-wide (460 feet) space rock, really hit our planet? The quick answer is, probably not.   Image credit: NASA/JPL/Caltech/NEOPO

The orbit of asteroid 2011 AG5 carries it beyond the orbit of Mars and as close to the sun as halfway between Earth and Venus. 

Astronomers will need more observations of this asteroid to say one way or the other for sure.

The impact would not cause any global problems, as the planet as a whole would not be strongly disturbed by the impact.

“Because of the extreme rarity of an impact by a near-Earth asteroid of this size, I fully expect we will be able to significantly reduce or rule out entirely any impact probability for the foreseeable future,” said Donald Yeomans, head of the Near-Earth Object Observations Program at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

read more: universetoday by Nancy Atkinson