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Giant asteroid no threat to Earth: NASA

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WASHINGTON (PTI): A newly spotted mountain-sized asteroid is heading for Earth but it poses no threat to the planet, according to NASA.

NASA researchers said that the 400-metre sized asteroid discovered by Russian scientists would not pose a threat to Earth or any other planet in the next 150 years or more.

"Some recent press reports have suggested that an asteroid designated 2014 UR116, found on October 27, 2014, at the MASTER-II observatory in Kislovodsk, Russia, represents an impact threat to the Earth," NASA said in a statement.

"While this approximately 400-metre sized asteroid has a three year orbital period around the Sun and returns to the Earth's neighbourhood periodically, it does not represent a threat because its orbital path does not pass sufficiently close to the Earth's orbit," said the space agency.

Tim Spahr, Director of the Minor Planet Centre in Cambridge Massachusetts, has also re-computed this object's orbit after noticing that it was the same as an object observed six years ago.

Using both sets of observations, the future motion of this asteroid was carried further forward in time using the automatic computations made by the Sentry system at NASA's Near-Earth Object Programme Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

These computations rule out this object as an impact threat to Earth (or any other planet) for at least the next 150 years, NASA said.

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Asteroid  Earth  NASA  Space  
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