2011 AG5: A football-stadium-sized asteroid we need to keep our eyes on

2011 AG5 is a rock 140 meters across on an orbit that brings it near Earth. We don't have its orbit nailed down well enough to say yet, but using what we do currently know, there is a 1 in 625 chance it will impact the Earth in 2040. It's behind the Sun until September 2013, but more observations taken then will probably reduce the odds of impact to something close to 0. But does it make sense to wait until then to start investigating a mission to deflect it away our planet?

I have written an extensive description of the situation on my blog: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2012/03/06/asteroid-2011-ag5-a-football-stadium-sized-rock-to-watch-carefully/

I don't usually ask, but I worked really hard on this. Please +1 it and share with others. Even if we're safe from AG5, as we find more asteroids we'll be running into this situation more often, and we need to start a dialogue on what to do.

[Image credit: NASA, from the 2005 Deep Impact mission to comet Tempel 1]
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