NEW YORK (FOX5NY) - A small asteroid that flew past Earth two years ago could pass much closer next month and scientists say there is a 'remote chance' that it could impact the planet on another pass in 2017.
The asteroid is called 2013 TX68 is estimated to be about 100 feet in diameter. It is expected to flyby Earth on March 5. Scientists say that it could come as close as 11,000 miles from the planet or be as far away as 9 million miles. The variation is due to the wide range of possible trajectories, since it was tracked for only a short time after discovery.
The small asteroid flew past Earth at a 'comfortable' distance of about 1.3 million miles two years ago.
NASA scientists say there is no possibility that the asteroid will impact Earth during the flyby next month but they say there is an extremely remote chance that it could impact Earth on Sep. 28, 2017. The odds are no more than 1-in-250-million.
Flybys in 2046 and 2097 have an even lower probability of impact, according to NASA.
An asteroid that broke up in the atmosphere over Chelyabinsk, Russia, three years ago was approximately 65 feet wide. If an asteroid the size of 2013 TX68 were to enter Earth's atmosphere, it would likely produce an air burst with about twice the energy of the Chelyabinsk event.