NASA monitors new asteroid with minimal chance of hitting Earth in 2046

Asteroid 2023 DW measures about 50 m in diameter and was discovered in February. It will approach Earth and have a 99.82% chance of “missing” our planet

This Tuesday (7), NASA announced that it is monitoring the asteroid 2023 DW, a space rock with almost 50 m in diameter that has a small chance of hitting Earth on February 14, 2046. And you can rest assured: according to the Near-Earth Object Coordination Center of the European Space Agency, the chance of the rock “missing” our planet is 99.82%.

Photo: urikyo33/Pixabay / Canaltech

According to preliminary data, the asteroid is 0.12 astronomical units from Earth, with each unit representing the distance between our planet and the Sun. It takes 271 days to complete an orbit around the Sun and, during closest approach, will be 1.8 million kilometers from Earth, a very safe distance.

In a Twitter post, NASA explained that the asteroid is new and will still be monitored. “When new objects are discovered, it takes a few weeks to [coleta de] data to reduce uncertainties and predict their orbits in the future”, they explained.

The asteroid was discovered in February and, until this Tuesday (7), the asteroid’s orbital analyzes were made based on only 62 observations. It appears to be about 50 m in diameter, almost triple the size of the 18 m diameter meteor that

exploded over Chelyabinsk

Russia, in 2013. The shock wave released by the explosion destroyed windows and parts of buildings in six cities in Russia.

At the moment, the asteroid is rated 1 on the so-called Torino Scale, a system with a scale from 0 to 10 that divides possible Earth impact events into categories. The classification in question indicates that the asteroid poses no risk to us, and that it has extremely low chances of impact.

Additionally, the asteroid tops the European Space Agency’s list of hazardous objects, another common classification for newly discovered objects. Over the course of observations over the coming days and weeks, scientists will refine data from the orbit of 2023 DW — and likely, the chances of the possible collision will drop further.

Source: NASA, EarthSky

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