A New Asteroid the 2011 SM68 on level 1 At Torino Scale! Update

The Torino Scale is a "Richter Scale" for categorizing the Earth impact hazard associated with newly discovered asteroids and comets. It is intended to serve as a communication tool for astronomers and the public to assess the seriousness of predictions of close encounters by asteroids and comets during the 21st century.

The Torino Scale utilizes numbers that range from 0 to 10, where 0 indicates an object has a zero or negligibly small chance of collision with the Earth. (Zero is also used to categorize any object that is too small to penetrate the Earth's atmosphere intact, in the event that a collision does occur.) A 10 indicates that a collision is certain, and the impacting object is so large that it is capable of precipitating a global climatic disaster.

Presently there are three asteroids with Level 1 on Torino Scale, the 130 meter Asteroid 2007 VK184 and 140 meter Asteroid 2011 AG5 . There are currently 4 potential Earth impacts for 2007 VK184 ,10 potential Earth impacts for 2011 AG5.

As usual the team at JPL expects to eliminate all of these potential impacts as they get more observations of these asteroids, in which case they will be then removed from the Risk page. This is what happened to the new 2011 SM68 it was level 1 last week coming down to zero after new observations. (updated 4 Oct 2011)

more information on 2011SM68

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