Giant Asteroid Could Smash Earth in 2032: Report

Dennis Faas's picture

Astronomers in the Ukraine say there's a small chance that a massive asteroid could slam into the earth in less than twenty years' time. According to researchers, the impact would be roughly equivalent to having 2,500 nuclear bombs explode in one location.

The asteroid -- which has been named '2013 TV 135' -- was recently discovered by scientists at the Ukraine's Crimean Astrophysical Observatory.

The scientists say that, with a width of roughly 1,300 feet, the asteroid is much larger than your average space rock.

That's why they suggest that, should the object slam into earth, it would be like a couple thousand nuclear bombs being detonated all at once.

Asteroid Deemed "Potentially Hazardous"

Since the Ukrainian research team's discovery of 2013 TV 135 last week, astronomers from around the world have confirmed its existence and say that it should be seen as "potentially hazardous." (Source:

NASA, having recently emerged from the U.S. government shutdown, has also weighed in on the issue. In a report called "Asteroid 2013 TV 135 -- A Reality Check," the agency confirms that the asteroid could reach Earth by 2032.

The good news: NASA thinks it's highly unlikely that 2013 TV 135 will ever slam head-first into little old Earth. In fact, its analysis suggests that there's a 1 in 63,000 chance that the asteroid will hit us.

No Need to Panic, NASA Says

At the same time, however, NASA Near-Earth Object Program Office manager Don Yeomans says there's still much to be learned about 2013 TV 135.

And while further research could result in the chances of a collision increasing, Yeomans says he expects to confirm that the threat is minimal.

"This is a relatively new discovery," Yeomans reported from NASA's Pasadena, California, Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

"With more observations, I fully expect we will be able to significantly reduce, or rule out entirely, any impact probability for the foreseeable future." (Source:

It's worth noting that this is hardly the first space rock to catch the attention of earth's astronomers. In fact, the NASA report notes that, as of October 14, 2013 TV 135 is "one of 10,332 near-Earth objects that have been discovered."

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