NASA Warns of Asteroid Headed for Earth on Valentine’s Day 2046
An asteroid the size of an Olympic swimming pool has a “small chance” of colliding with Earth on Valentine’s Day in 2046.
The recent data comes from NASA’s Planetary Defence Coordination Office. Also, the European Space Agency said the space rock could impact Earth from 2047 to 2051.
The PDCO assures everyone that there is no cause for alarm. Still, it is closely monitoring the outer space object to gather more data.
What do we know about the Valentine’s Day asteroid?
We've been tracking a new asteroid named 2023 DW that has a very small chance of impacting Earth in 2046. 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. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/SaLC0AUSdP
— NASA Asteroid Watch (@AsteroidWatch) March 7, 2023
NASA regularly tracks asteroids, but this one caught their eye. According to its Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 2023 DW has a 1 in 560 chance of colliding with Earth.
In contrast, the European Space Agency says the asteroid has a 1 in 625 chance. Consequently, NASA placed the rock on its risk list.
Before you worry about a space rock crashing on the day of hearts, remember that it ranks 1 out of 10 on the Torino Impact Hazard Scale.
It measures the potential risk of any outer space object crashing into our planet, with 10 being the highest and 0 the lowest.
A 0 ranking means “likelihood of a collision is zero, or is so low as to be effectively zero.”
The Valentine’s Day asteroid is a 1, so “the chance of collision is extremely unlikely with no cause for public attention or public concern.”
As a result, Davide Farnocchia, a navigation engineer at California’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said, “this object is not particularly concerning.”
NASA released that asteroid impact update because that was what the initial data indicated. Moreover, it said newly discovered asteroids usually appear threatening at first.
Usually, NASA collects more data about the object and realizes that it poses no threat to our planet. However, Farnocchia told CNN getting a better analysis could take days.
The last full moon emerged two days ago, but the lunar rock still shines, making it difficult for scientists to observe 2023 DW.
Nevertheless, Farnocchia assures everyone that we can avert disaster due to the success of NASA’s DART Mission.
It intentionally collides a spacecraft into an asteroid to change its trajectory. NASA’s navigation engineer believes it could help us deal with DW 2023.