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  Scientists say don't worry about asteroid
Updated 02 September 2003, 19.47

Scientists are telling people not to worry about reports that a newly-discovered asteroid could be heading for Earth.

They say the chance of asteroid 2003 QQ47 hitting the earth is one in 909,000 - meaning it's very unlikely.

Fact File
Facts about asteroids
Made from rock or metal
Scattered throughout solar system
Can be over 900 kms in diameter!
Mostly found near Mars and Jupiter
Also known as minor planets

And they say that once they have found out more about the asteroid, it's likely it will become even less of a threat.

They were responding to reports that the 2.6 billion tonne piece of rock could strike the Earth in 2014.

Danger

They say the asteroid, which was discovered on 24 August, has a very low rating on the Torino Scale - which assesses the danger posed by asteroids.

It's currently rated one on the ten-point scale, which means "impact is extremely unlikely".

Dinosaurs

Once scientists have studied the asteroid a bit more, it's thought its rating will drop to "zero".

The asteroid is said to be 0.7 miles wide - only one tenth of the size of the giant rock thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.



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