American astronomers announced today that a new asteroid was discovered on 24 August and named 2003 QQ47. Since then, 51 observations have indicated that the meteor might hit Earth on 21 March 2014.
Asteroid armaggedon 21st March 2014
Asteroid 2003 QQ47 is almost a mile wide, weighing 2.6 billion tonnes, and is traveling toward our solar system at 20 miles per second. The BBC have warned that the impact of the asteroid with the surface of our planet would release an explosion equivalent to a cataclysmic 350,000 megatonne atomic bomb, causing destruction on a continental scale, in an extinction-level event.
Experts hope that the danger level will decline as further observations make their calculations more accurate. However, there is a small possibility that more detailed data obtained over the next few days will confirm their worst fears.
If the asteroid is found to be on a collision course with Earth in ten years time, would they tell us?
BBC News, "Asteroid danger in 2014 downplayed", 2 September 2003.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3200019.stm ]
Astronomers monitoring near-Earth objects are playing down the chances of a newly discovered asteroid hitting Earth in 2014.
The current odds are based on 51 observations made since the giant rock was spotted by a US programme in New Mexico on 24 August.
2003 QQ47 has been ranked one on the Torino scale.
Torino scale one objects are deemed worthy of careful monitoring.
The BBC's science correspondent Christine McGourty says that 2003 QQ47 merits observation due to its sheer size and velocity.
The rock is said to measure approximately 1.2 kilometres (less than a mile) across - only one tenth of the size of the impactor thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
It is travelling at a speed of about 30 km (approximately 20 miles) per second.
"In theory such an asteroid could cause devastation across an entire continent," Christine McGourty says.
The asteroid is estimated to weigh 2.6 billion tonnes and would deliver the same energy as detonating 350 billion tonnes of TNT in the extremely unlikely event of it hitting Earth.
Evening Standard (UK), "Asteroid could hit Earth in 2014", 2 September 2003.
[ http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/articles/6489068 ]
An asteroid could collide with the Earth in 2014, astronomers have warned.
The British agency responsible for identifying potentially hazardous asteroids says colleagues in the United States have warned that the collision may take place on 21 March of that year.
The Guardian, "March 2014 brings small risk of huge disaster ", 3 September 2003.
[ http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,1034397,00.html ]
The bigger fragments have the potential to wipe out whole cities. One of them sped harmlessly past Earth on August 16, missing it by about 2.4m miles. Others have come to within almost the distance of the moon.
"The Insider" mailing list article, 02 September 2003.
Tags: asteroid, impact, Earth, 2014, collision, 2003, QQ47, hit, apocalypse, armageddon, prophecy, Revelations, mass, extinction, , conspiracy theories.