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Preliminary reports::(143649) 2003 QQ47

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Earth::asteroid    Title::impact    August::which    Sentry::impact    Removed::torino    Wayback::march

Preliminary reports On 3 September 2003 a NASA press release wrote,

"Newly discovered asteroid 2003 QQ47 has received considerable media attention over the last few days because it had a small chance of colliding with the Earth in the year 2014 and was rated a "1" on the Torino Impact Hazard Scale, which goes from 0 to 10. The odds of collision in 2014, as estimated by JPL's Sentry impact monitoring system, peaked at 1 chance in 250,000, a result which was posted on our Impact Risk Page on Saturday, August 30, 2003. Impact events at the Torino Scale 1 level certainly merit careful monitoring by astronomers, but these events do not warrant public concern. In fact, each year several newly discovered asteroids reach Torino Scale 1 for a brief period after discovery; 2003 QQ47 is the fourth such case this year.
On September 2, 2003, new measurements of 2003 QQ47's position allowed us to narrow our prediction of its path in 2014, and thus we could rule out any Earth impact possibilities for 2014."<ref name="QQ47"/>

(143649) 2003 QQ47 has a diameter of approximately 1.24 km, and a mass of approximately 2.0×1012 kg. If it were to hit the Earth, it would be a major event, with an energy of approximately 350,000 megatons of TNT (1.5 ZJ), enough to cause global damage.

Dr. Sara Russell, a meteorite researcher at London's Natural History Museum, told the BBC on 2 September 2003 that she was not worried that (143649) 2003 QQ47 would be a danger.

"The odds are very, very low... We have to keep some kind of perspective," she said.<ref name="BBC-QQ47"/>

As a result of the press coverage of asteroids such as (143649) 2003 QQ47, astronomers are now planning to re-word the Torino scale, or to phase it out completely in favour of a scale which is less likely to generate false alarms which may reduce public confidence in genuine alerts.


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