Asteroid 2007 WD5
2007 WD5 Mars Collision Effectively Ruled Out - Impact Odds now 1 in 10,000
January 9, 2008
Since our last update, we have received numerous tracking measurements
of asteroid 2007 WD5 from four different observatories. These new data
have led to a significant reduction in the position uncertainties during
the asteroid's close approach to Mars on Jan. 30, 2008. As a result, the
impact probability has dropped dramatically, to approximately 0.01% or 1
in 10,000 odds, effectively ruling out the possible collision with Mars.
Mars Impact Seems Less Likely
January 8, 2008
We have updated the orbit of 2007 WD5 using new observations from the 3.5-meter telescope at the Calar Alto Observatory in Spain. This update also incorporates refinements to the Sloan precovery observations mentioned previously. While the best estimate of close approach distance remains steady at about 30,000 km, the uncertainty in position at the close approach has decreased by a factor of three. As a result, the impact probability estimate has fallen to 2.5%, or 1-in-40 odds.
New Observations Slightly Decrease Mars Impact Probability
January 2, 2008
Additional position observations for asteroid 2007 WD5 taken on December 29
through January 2 have been used to improve the accuracy of the asteroid's
orbit. As a result, the range of possible paths past Mars has narrowed
by a factor of 3 and the most likely path has moved a little farther away
from the planet, causing the Mars impact probability to decrease slightly
to 3.6% (about one chance in 28).
Mars Impact Probability Increases to 4 Percent
December 28, 2007
The impact probability for a collision of asteroid 2007 WD5 with Mars on
January 30 has increased from 1.3% to 3.9%.
Pre-discovery observations of asteroid 2007 WD5, taken on November 8, 2007
have allowed its orbit to be refined and the uncertainties for the late
January Mars encounter have been improved. The impact probability
resulting from the recent orbit refinement has increased to a surprising
3.9% (about 1 in 25 odds).
Recently Discovered Asteroid Could Hit Mars in January
December 21, 2007
A recently discovered asteroid which passed close to the Earth in
November, is now
headed towards a very close passage by Mars in late January, and
a small chance that it could hit that planet. The probability of a
only 1 chance in 75, but scientists are excited about the possibility. If
the impact would occur on January 30, 2008 at around 10:55 UT (2:55 a.m.