Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced on 2 January that a small asteroid could pass relatively close to Earth next month – in fact, much closer to our planet than the Moon. Asteroid 2013 TX68 is to make its closest pass by Earth on 5 March.
The asteroid, which has a diameter of 100ft, could pass as far out as nine miles or as close as 11,000 miles. The average distance of the Moon from the Earth, by comparison, is 238,555 miles, according to Nasa. Nasa also says that the variation in its estimated distances from Earth depends on the trajectory of the asteroid, which scientists could not predict, since they were only able to track the asteroid for a few days after it was first discovered on 6 October 2013.
What Nasa scientists are sure about, however, is that there is no chance the asteroid could hit the Earth this time – although there is a one-in-250 million chance that it could hit our planet on its next pass on 28 September 2017. But even if it does hit the Earth, it is too small to cause any real damage. It would likely break up in the atmosphere and blow apart in an explosion known as an 'air burst'.