Asteroid – NASA occasionally produces a beautiful celestial discovery that has a chance of crashing with Earth.
Yet, the majority of the estimates show a minimal possibility of interaction.
NASA just detected an asteroid the size of an Olympic swimming pool that has a tiny chance of crashing with Earth in the next 23 years.
Valentine’s Day in 2046 might be the date of impact, according to NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Center.
Should we be concerned?
According to European Space Agency assessments, the asteroid has a 1 in 625 chance of colliding with Earth.
According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Sentry system, the chances are more like 1 in 560.
The asteroid 2023 DW is the only one on NASA’s list that receives a 1 out of 10 on the Torino Impact Danger Scale, whereas other asteroids receive a 0.
It is a metric that categorizes the likelihood of an object hitting Earth.
While this may appear to be concerning, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory argues that their assessment just shows that the chances of a collision are extremely unlikely, and hence should not be cause for public alarm.
Individuals with a rating of 0 have practically no chance of colliding.
According to David Farnocchia, a Jet Propulsion Laboratory navigation engineer, “This object is not particularly concerning.”
More data to collect
Despite the extremely low odds, NASA officials warned that the likelihood of an impact might be altered.
It will be mostly decided by observations made on the 2023 DW as more data is collected and further analysis is performed.
NASA Asteroid Watch elaborated on Tuesday, 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 uncommon for newly discovered asteroids to seem deadly at first glance.
The Center for Near Earth Object Research at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, stated on its website:
“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.”
Because of the asteroid’s proximity to the moon, Farnocchia expects it will take several days to collect further data.
He commented that, despite the fact that the previous full moon was days ago, it still appears brilliant and full in the sky.
It will almost probably obscure the 2023 DW from view.
“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.
The asteroid has a diameter of more than 160 feet, according to NASA (50 meters).
The 2023 DW will pass close to Earth ten times as it rounds the sun.
It will make its closest point on February 14, 2046.
The final nine approaches occur between 2047 and 2054.
The asteroid will pass within 1.1 million miles (1.8 million kilometers) of Earth, according to NASA’s Eyes on Asteroids website.
An asteroid was spotted in our sky on February 2.
The 2023 DW is flying at about 15.5 miles per second at a distance of more than 11 million miles (18 million kilometers) from Earth (25 kilometers per second).
It completes a round around the sun every 271 days.
On September 22, David Farnocchia applauded NASA’s DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) mission, claiming it as proof that humanity can prepare for potentially lethal impacts with space rocks.
DART purposefully fired a spacecraft into an asteroid, changing its path.
“That’s the very reason why we flew that mission,” he explained. “And that mission was a spectacular success.”
Image source: HT Tech