- Ukrainian astronomers claim giant asteroid could strike Earth in 2032
- If it does, it would hit the planet with a force of 2,500 nuclear bombs
- But Nasa says it is 99.9984 per cent certain that it will miss Earth’s orbit
- It added that future observations may rule out the risk entirely
Its existence has been verified by teams around the world, in at least 27 distinct observations over the past week, and Nasa has been forced to issue an earth impact risk summary as part of its Near Earth Object Program.
The 1,300-foot wide asteroid has been named 2013 TV135. There is a 1 in 63,000 chance of the asteroid striking Earth — enough for it to be added to the Torino scale which measures the risk of objects which could reach Earth in the next 100 years.
According to Nasa, there is only one other asteroid that has made it to a 1 (out of 10) on the scale. At 130 metres wide, 2007 VK184 is regarded as relatively high risk because it has a 1 in 1,820 chance of impacting Earth. All other near-Earth objects are rated as a 0 — their risk is “effectively zero”.
If it strikes Earth, the impact from 2013 TV135 would cause damage to an area of nearly 100,000 square miles with an equivalent force of about 2,500 megatons of TNT, or 2,500 standard nuclear warheadbearing US Minute Man II missiles. Astronomers say they will continue to evaluate the risk posed and may be able to pin down its path and a possible impact site on Earth by 2028.