Q&A on the News

Q: There was a report last week that a meteor would pass within 11,000 miles of earth. Over the weekend, a meteorite struck the earth in India. Was this the same one?

—Harvey V. Apple, Sandy Springs

A: Scientists are analyzing the object that reportedly fell from space and killed a man in India last weekend.

The object, which created a crater about 5-feet wide by 2-feet deep, was undergoing tests, the Associated Press reported.

Scientists were not sure if it was a meteorite or part of an airplane or satellite.

“The hard, jagged object is dark blue and small enough to be held in a closed hand,” the AP wrote.

It hit the ground near the Bharathidasan Engineering College and killed a nearby bus driver.

That event isn’t connected to the asteroid that could pass within 11,000 miles of earth.

The asteroid won’t arrive until March 5.

“There is no possibility” that asteroid 2013 TX68, which is about 100 feet in diameter, will impact earth next month, NASA states on its website, NASA.gov.

The asteroid could pass earth as close as 11,000 miles or as far as 9 million miles. There’s a large range of projected trajectories for the asteroid “since it was tracked for only a short time after discovery.”

Q: What happens when a candidate receives enough votes from the electoral college to become the president-elect, but dies before Jan. 20?

—Jeff Bashuk, Decatur

A: The vice president-elect will become president if the president-elect dies or is incapacitated before the inauguration, as stated in Section 3 of the 20th Amendment.

Andy Johnston with Fast Copy News Service wrote this column. Do you have a question? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).