It looks like asteroids are becoming the main threat to the existence of mankind. About a couple of weeks ago, at a scientific conference in the United States, a suggestion was expressed that small falling meteorites and asteroids could cause nuclear war. As if some countries possessing nuclear weapon (the hint at India and Pakistan) do not posses necessary equipment to distinguish a meteorite burning in the highest levels of the atmosphere from a nuclear bomb. And now, one more problem. It was discovered by Americans. NASA scientists discovered an asteroid that is supposed to be the most dangerous space object for the Earth.
According to BBC, preliminary studies of the orbit show that the 2002 NT7 asteroid could collide with the Earth February 1, 2019. However, the astronomers call for calm, because many things are not clear yet.
The asteroid diameter makes up approximately 2 km. This seize is enough to cause destruction on a whole continent and global change of climate on the Earth.
For the first time, the asteroid was noticed at night on July 5, with an automatic telescope in the state New Mexico. Since then, over 200 observations have been carried out, and the scientists discovered that the asteroid's orbit often intercepts the Earth's orbit.
However, NASA supposes that these data should not be considered as definitive. So far, scientists can describe the orbit of the asteroid with within several dozens million years. It is not excluded that in one and half years, a more careful analysis will show the groundlessness of today’s concern.
Therefore, there is no reason for panic. All the more that the asteroid is so remote from the Earth, that the preciseness of its orbit could be counted with blunder of one or two million kilometers. From the view of space distances, this is not so little. However, it is enough to facing this report quietly.
The asteroid sensation could soon enrich a Hollywood film company, even despite the fact that Hollywood has already rescued the Earth from asteroids many times.
Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/07/24/44602.html