Asteroid – NASA periodically makes a stunning cosmic discovery that may collide with Earth.
However, the majority of the estimations indicate a low likelihood of interaction.
NASA just discovered an asteroid the size of an Olympic swimming pool that has a slim possibility of colliding with Earth in the next 23 years.
According to NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Center, the date of impact might be Valentine’s Day in 2046.
Should we be concerned?
According to estimates from the European Space Agency, the asteroid has a 1 in 625 probability of striking with Earth.
The chances, according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Sentry system, are more like 1 in 560.
The asteroid 2023 DW is the only one on NASA’s list to score a 1 out of 10 on the Torino Impact Risk Scale, while the others receive a 0.
It is a statistic that classifies the likelihood of an asteroid colliding with Earth.
While this may appear to be a reason for concern, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory contends that their evaluation just demonstrates that the possibilities of a collision are exceedingly improbable, and hence should not raise public anxiety.
Objects with a score of 0 have almost no possibility of colliding.
As per David Farnocchia, a navigation engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, “This object is not particularly concerning.”
More data to collect
Despite the exceedingly low chances, NASA experts warned that the probability of an impact might be adjusted.
When additional data is acquired and further research is undertaken, observations made on the 2023 DW will largely determine the outcome.
On Tuesday, NASA Asteroid Watch elaborated, tweeting:
“Often when new objects are first discovered, it takes several weeks of data to reduce the uncertainties and adequately predict their orbits years into the future.
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It’s not unusual for newly identified asteroids to appear dangerous at first sight.
On its website, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies in Pasadena, California, stated:
“Because orbits stemming from very limited observation sets are more uncertain, it is more likely that such orbits will ‘permit’ future impacts.”
“However, such early predictions can often be ruled out as we incorporate more observations and reduce the uncertainties in the object’s orbit.”
“Most often, the threat associated with a specific object will decrease as additional observations become available.”
Farnocchia anticipates that gathering more data will take many days due to the asteroid’s closeness to the moon.
Despite the fact that the previous full moon was days ago, he observed that it still looked beautiful and full in the sky.
It will almost certainly impede the view of the 2023 DW.
“But then the object will remain observable for weeks (even months with larger telescopes so we can get plenty of observations as needed,” he added.
According to NASA, the asteroid has a diameter of more than 160 feet (50 meters).
When it rounds the sun, the 2023 DW will pass close to Earth twelve times.
On February 14, 2046, it will be at its closest point.
The remaining nine approaches take place between the years 2047 and 2054.
According to NASA’s Eyes on Asteroids website, the asteroid will pass within 1.1 million miles (1.8 million kilometers) of Earth.
On February 2, an asteroid was seen in our sky.
The 2023 DW is traveling at around 15.5 miles per second and is more than 11 million miles (18 million kilometers) from Earth (25 kilometers per second).
Every 271 days, it completes a full orbit around the sun.
On September 22, David Farnocchia praised NASA’s DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) mission, stating it demonstrated that mankind can plan for potentially fatal collisions with space rocks.
DART purposely sent a spacecraft into an asteroid, altering its trajectory.
“That’s the very reason why we flew that mission,” he explained. “And that mission was a spectacular success.”
Image source: Study Finds