NASA Addresses Concerns Over 2007 FT3 Asteroid Impact in 2024

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Recent reports have stirred up concerns about the potential impact of a “lost” asteroid named 2007 FT3 on Earth this year.

Rumors suggest that if this asteroid were to hit, it could do so on October 5, 2024, with an explosive force equivalent to 2.6 billion tons of TNT.

So, is there any truth to this alarming news?

The Asteroid in Question

Asteroid 2007 FT3 was first observed in 2007 and is listed on NASA’s Sentry Risk Table, which tracks objects that could potentially collide with Earth.

The asteroid was only visible for 1.2 days before it disappeared from view, making it a “lost” asteroid.

During its brief visibility, astronomers were able to observe it at 14 different points, allowing them to calculate its orbit and assess potential collision dates.

Image credit: NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Potential Impact Date: October 5, 2024

NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies identified 89 possible impact dates for 2007 FT3, one of which is October 5, 2024.

However, this is not as worrisome as it sounds.

The asteroid had a previous close approach date in 2019, which, as we can see, did not result in a collision with Earth.

Tracking Near-Earth Objects

NASA and other observatories closely monitor near-Earth objects (NEOs) that are 140 meters (460 feet) or larger since these could cause significant damage if they collide with our planet.

Astronomers can predict the orbits of these known objects for up to 100 years into the future.

The reassuring news is that “no known asteroid larger than 140 meters in size has a significant chance to hit Earth for the next 100 years,” according to NASA.

NASA’s Reassurance

Responding to the specific claims about 2007 FT3, NASA emphasized that there are no known asteroid impact threats to Earth at any time in the next century.

A NASA spokesperson told The Standard, “NASA and its partners diligently watch the skies to find, track, and categorize asteroids and near-Earth objects (NEOs), including those that may come close to Earth.”

Asteroid approaches within 30 million miles of Earth’s orbit are considered close approaches by planetary scientists.

Larger asteroids are easier to detect and track, making their orbits well-known and understood for many years in advance.

What If We Find 2007 FT3 Again?

If astronomers or sky surveys spot 2007 FT3 again, we will gain more information about its orbit.

This could either remove it from the list of potential Earth impactors or, in the very unlikely event that it is heading our way, allow us to prepare a mission to deflect it.

In summary, while the headlines may sound scary, NASA assures us there is no imminent threat from asteroid 2007 FT3 or any other known large asteroid for the next century.


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