NASA predicts previously 'lost' asteroid could hit Earth next year

What's the most significant thing you've ever misplaced? Maybe a jacket, a suitcase, or perhaps something larger, like a car? Regardless, it's unlikely to compare in size to the asteroid that NASA lost track of in 2007.
Yes, NASA lost an entire asteroid. In all fairness, space is vast, and there's an immense amount to monitor up there.

The asteroid in question goes by the catchy name of Asteroid 2007 FT3, initially identified in 2007 before mysteriously disappearing. Now, there's a prediction that this asteroid could potentially collide with Earth.

Although not massive enough to trigger an extinction-level event, the asteroid is substantial enough to cause significant damage to a continent. A collision with Earth could release an energy equivalent to about 2.6 billion tons of TNT, roughly 2600 megatons or around 48 Tsar Bombas, the most massive nuclear warhead ever detonated.

While this explosive power is less than the cumulative power of all existing nuclear weapons, estimated at around 4,000 megatons, it provides some reassurance.
The projected impact date is October 5, 2024. However, there's no need to cancel Halloween plans, as the odds of an impact are extremely slim, at one in 11 million.

Despite the seemingly specific date of October 5, an impact could occur within the broader timeframe between 2024 and 2116.

NASA monitors the asteroid through a dedicated department that tracks Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs). They estimate there are around 32,000 NEAs and approximately 120 near-Earth comets, many of which are expected to pass close to Earth over the next few centuries.

While Asteroid 2007 FT3 could cause significant damage, it's not the largest asteroid with the potential to impact Earth. One such asteroid is 29075 (1950 DA), considered the second most likely asteroid to strike Earth. This asteroid is substantial enough to pose a severe threat, potentially leading to the end of humanity or even life on Earth.
A theory suggests that Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, acts as a shield for Earth, deflecting hits that might otherwise reach our planet and contributing to the conditions that allowed life to begin.

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