This may help with this and other fake asteroid news. It's a no hazard asteroid.
There is no NASA warning at all. They have already removed 88 "no hazard" asteroids from their table so far this year.
It’s a 11 million to one against, and it's like rolling 9 or 10 dice and getting a six every time. An object this size hits only every 94,000 years.
They search for them so that they can warn us if they are going to hit. With a warning then we can either deflect it or evacuate the impact zone. There is no warning for this one.
A real warning would be given by NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies, the International Astronomical Union and the Minor Planet Center. It would also run on the main TV news. They run news about hurricanes, so of course they would for a major asteroid if it could harm people.
We shouldn't be scared of any asteroids in the table, because we are following them and know all about them.
It can’t change its direction (or only minutely e.g. due to pressure of its emitted heat radiation as it spins). We should see 2007 FT3 long before then on the only path it could follow to get to Earth on that date.
This shows its most likely orbit - it is moving upwards out of the picture - so on their best guess is actually moving away from us right now as of September 5th:
This is where it is expected to be on October 3rd:
But if it was on a different orbit headed for Earth, it wouldn’t be that much different from that orbit. It approaches from a somewhat southerly direction but surely not too south for telescopes in Hawaii such as Pan STARRS and ATLAS - and not from the direction of the sun.
The ATLAS telescope spots objects of this side most often weeks in advance.
This one, approaching from that direction, would surely not be one of the tricky ones that they only spot a few days in advance.
I think it is possible that we should have spotted a 340 meter diameter object on that orbit already. At least I expect they would do within a week or two - but sadly CNEOS do not remove objects from the table until they actually observe them, they don’t remove objects for non observation even right up to the day they would hit on that now impossible virtual orbit.
WHY THEY EXPECT IT TO MISS EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE AN EXACT DATE AND TIME AS THE ONLY TIME IT COULD HIT
What happens is that they don't know its orbit well.
Suppose you are blindfold and fire a high velocity bullet at a tiny target a centimeter across, one kilometer away (this is a lot smaller than the normal targets used for rifle shooting).
If you hit the target then it takes exactly one second to get there (assume a high velocity rifle that fires bullets at one kilometer per second)
But even with telescopic sights an expert would probably miss such a tiny target at a distance of a kilometer.
Blindfold you have no chance (almost no chance mathematically speaking).
So you expect to miss.
But if you do hit you know exactly when it will hit, one second after you press the trigger.
So it is like that with most asteroids in the sentry table.
If it hits they know exactly when it will hit.
But they expect it to miss.
SO IT IS LIKE THAT WITH 2007 FT3
So it’s like that with 2007 FT3.
You can predict the exact time that 2007 FT3 would hit Earth if it is headed our way, because you know where it was in 2007 and you know how long it would take to get here if it was going to hit on that date. But you have no idea whether it is aimed in our direction because you have only a day of observations.
There is a very remote chance it could hit, but they would know well before and warn everyone affected.
This actually happened previously for 2007 FT3 in 2013, it had a time it could hit then as well according to Wikipedia who are usually good on asteroids.
FT3 also had a virtual impact on 3 October 2013
But nothing happened. They never saw it at all.
So it wasn't aimed our way in 2013. It has not been seen yet which surely means it is not aimed our way this year either as we should have seen it by now.
They remove dozens of “No Hazard” asteroids like this from the table every year. Since 2002, they have already removed well over 2000 of them and there is no reason at all for the public to get scared of this one.
They have already removed 99 “No hazard” objects from the table for 2019 (not sure how many of those had dates in 2019). There are 22 still left to remove. This is expected to be removed like all those over 2000 others.
But sadly, they do not remove objects until they get more observations. If they do not see it through to 3rd October 2019, they won’t remove it, it will remain in the table until that date is over then just that date is removed.
11 MILLION TO ONE CHANCE
It's an 11 million to one chance for one - at that level despite the movies, then it is a level where you can forget about it as a risk. It's like throwing nine dice and all of them come up sixes.
In its expected orbit in the extraordinarily remote chance it was headed our way, you'd see it well in advance plenty of time to warn people and evacuate.
Sadly they do not remove an asteroid from the table for non observation even when it is obvious they would have seen it if it was headed our way. They only update the orbits when they get another observation and that is often not until after the date it would hit on the only possible impact virtual orbit.
But if it was going to hit - well - probably we'd know already by now at that size, or at least, a few weeks before. Judging by the FEMA exercises, it’s likely that two weeks before they'd know the impact site most likely to less than a kilometer, plenty of time to evacuate.
For instance in the last four years the numbers removed are:
2016: 125, 2017: 151, 2018: 141, 2019: 83 (so far).
The sensationalist press just pick one at random from time to time for no apparent reason and scare everyone about it. Not based on any warning from NASA.
This is my new asteroid table may help, uses the data from NASA.
You can check it here yourself
- NASA Near Earth Asteroids and Comets Table - As words instead of techy numbers
It is using the same data as the more geeky NASA Sentry table which this page accesses using their published Sentry API. I just present it in a way that is more friendly for less geeky readers.This is what the geeky Sentry table says if you know how to read it.
I have also taken the opportunity to do a unified search for the Selected object that shows you whether an object is in the table, or removed, and if it is neither of those, provides a link you can use to look for it elsewhere, and other details
I've also added details of how many dice you’d need to throw and get them all as sixes to be equivalent to this happening. I find this works well when explaining the table to non techy scared people.
You can read it here: 2007 FT3 and here is a screenshot of my details for this object:
An asteroid of this size is too small to have any global effects and most likely we wait 94,000 years before such an impact. If we know in advance that something of this size is going to hit, we need to evacuate the impact zone, and the firestorm radius and warn people whose windows would get broken within the air blast radius.
The comparisons with atomic bombs are silly. First, they are not radioactive, and cause no radioactivity.
Also they are not targeted at cities. They hit at random, most likely in a remote desert or in the middle of the Pacific.
Also if they are being tracked ,that means that we know about them in advance and can evacuate the impact zone. And they are really rare.
If the Egyptians had build an asteroid detection telescope back at the time of the Great Pyramid some alternative history early industrial revolution - then it would still be waiting for its first "city killer" asteroid.
- Did you know, NASA have NEVER issued any ASTEROID ALERT - most likely future warning: Tiny Asteroid to Splosh Harmlessly in Pacific Ocean
At this size the effects are regional, not global. But a large area would need to be evacuated around the impact zone, or if it hit the sea, coastal areas would be evacuated for the tsunami (though it doesn’t come as far inland as an earthquake tsunami of the same height). It would not cause a megatsunami unless it hit very close to land.
See details in comment.
- Why you don’t need to be scared of asteroids - far less scary than lightning by Robert Walker on Debunking Doomsday
- My answer to How vulnerable are we to a catastrophic asteroid impact? Are there people whose job is to watch for them?
- What is the probability of the Earth being hit devastatingly by a large comet or asteroid?
- Some of the telescopes looking out for asteroids every single day
SEVEN TIPS FOR DEALING WITH DOOMSDAY FEARS
If you are scared: Seven tips for dealing with doomsday fears which also talks about health professionals and how they can help.
If in the middle of a panic attack, see
- Breathe in and out slowly and deeply to calm a panic attack by Robert Walker on Debunking Doomsday
- Tips from CBT - might help some of you to deal with doomsday anxieties
- STOPP skill
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