The truth is that yes, an asteroid will come very close to earth on December 21, 2012. This asteroid is called Toutatis, and it will pass what is, in astrological terms, quite close to the earth. It will be, at its closest, about 4,140,000 miles from the earth. That’s about 18 times the distance of the earth to the moon. As you can see, while this is close in astrological terms, it’s not really that close to the earth, and scientists do not consider it a serious threat at all. It will not hit the earth. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t asteroids out there that scientists haven’t noticed yet that will pass close to the earth, but so far, this isn’t the case.
However, while the asteroid Toutatis may not hit the earth in 2012, there is an asteroid that will come much closer in April of 2027. This asteroid, which has been named Apophis, will actually be less than 22,000 miles from the earth. In fact, scientists have plotted its course as passing between the earth and the moon. What effect will this have on the earth? No one is certain at the moment, but it could cause some significant issues, especially if something causes the asteroid to go slightly off course. It could impact earth if that occurs. However, again, this is an asteroid that will not be near earth until 2027; it’s not the same as the one featured in the many asteroid 2012 theories.
|NASA - Sentry Risk Table|
|The following table lists potential future Earth impact events that the JPL Sentry System has detected based on currently available observations. Click on the object designation to go to a page with full details on that object.|
Sentry is a highly automated collision monitoring system that continually scans the most current asteroid catalog for possibilities of future impact with Earth over the next 100 years. Whenever a potential impact is detected it will be analyzed and the results immediately published here, except in unusual cases where an IAU Technical Review is underway.
It is normal that, as additional observations become available, objects will disappear from this table whenever there are no longer any potential impact detections. For this reason we maintain a list of removed objects with the date of removal.
403 NEAs: Last Updated Jul 10, 2012
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