Six asteroids on course to hit Earth – one has a 10 percent chance

Spread the love

Space experts warned this week of a space rock the size of an Olympic swimming pool that could hit Earth on Valentine’s Day 2046 – but how many are there?

The good news is that it’s not time to head into the doomsday bunkers yet – the Valentine’s Day (2023 DW) asteroid was quickly given a lower chance of hitting Earth.

But there are several asteroids out there with the potential to hit Earth in the coming centuries – although space agencies around the world are keeping a close eye on these.

Scroll down to learn more about the six asteroids:

NASA also conducted a successful experiment in which a small spacecraft deflected a space rock by ramming into it.

The good news is that very large asteroids – the kind that killed the dinosaurs – are being monitored and all are deemed “extremely unlikely” to hit Earth.

NASA says more than 100 tons of rock particles hit Earth every day — but only once every 2,000 years do football-field-sized asteroids arrive.

Civilization-destroying asteroids collide with our planet only every few million years — and all rocks this size are closely watched.

So rocks most likely to hit Earth will likely burn up in the atmosphere or do minimal damage — rather than being the civilizational impact Hollywood movies love.

Smaller rocks, however, can have an impact: the Chelyabinsk meteor, which injured 1,500 when it blasted over Russia in 2013, was just 59 feet across.

During the 2013 Chelyabinsk event, 1,500 people were injured and 7,300 buildings damaged by the severe overpressure created by the shock wave at the Earth’s surface.

NASA and other space agencies are closely monitoring “potentially dangerous asteroids.”

Asteroids are rated based on their probability of hitting Earth on three scales – the Torino scale, a one to ten chart from 0 (will not hit Earth) to 10 (will hit Earth and will be catastrophic) .

No asteroid is currently rated above one.

The related Palermo scale is used by scientists to rank risk over time – and NASA’s Sentry Risk table classifies asteroids by their risk of hitting Earth.

First sightings of asteroids tend to be brief, and the more data scientists get, the less likely it is that an impact will occur.

Name: 2023 DW

Chances of impact? One of 1,584

Potential Impact Date: February 14, 2046

Experts warned this week that this 160-foot asteroid could cause an explosion similar to the Tunguska event that flattened more than 80 million trees.

But the odds of the rock hitting Earth on Valentine’s Day 2046 have dropped significantly since then.

Richard Moissl, head of ESA’s Planetary Defense Office, reduced the chance of the asteroid hitting Earth from one in 784 to one in 1,584.

Moissi said: “It will now decrease with each observation until it reaches zero in a few days at the latest. Nobody needs to worry about this guy.”

Name: Bennu

Chances of impact? One of 2,700

Date of potential impact: September 24, 2182

Bennu could hit Earth in the second half of the next century (NASA)

Bennu could hit Earth in the second half of the next century (NASA)

Slightly wider than New York’s Empire State Building, Bennu was visited in 2020 by NASA’s Osiris-Rex spacecraft, which collected material from its surface.

Bennu is more than 4.5 billion years old – and scientists estimate it has a 1 in 2,700 chance of hitting Earth in the late 22nd century.

University of Arizona professor Dante Lauretta previously said that hitting Bennu “would release three times more energy than any nuclear weapon detonated throughout history.”

“The impact would release energy equivalent to 1,450 megatons of TNT.”

“By comparison, the fission bombs used in World War II had an energy release of about 20 kilotons of TNT each, and the most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated, the Russian Tsar bomb, had a yield of 50 megatons.”

Name: 2010RF12

Chances of impact? One out of 10

Potential Impact Date: September 5, 2095

Rather than hitting the ground, this asteroid is likely to explode in a fireball (stock image), experts suggest

Rather than hitting the ground, this asteroid is likely to explode in a fireball (stock image), experts suggest

This asteroid is ranked as the asteroid most likely to hit our planet in the next century, with a one in ten chance of hitting Earth – but don’t panic, it’s pretty tiny.

The space rock is due to arrive shortly before the end of this century, but is believed to be about 21 feet in diameter.

Instead of hitting the surface, it’s likely to explode in a huge blast of air in the upper atmosphere, with the only thing reaching the bottom being pebbles.

Name: 1950 DA

Chances of impact? One in 34,000

Date of Potential Impact: March 16, 2880

This 800 meter wide asteroid has a fairly high risk of hitting Earth, with a probability of 1 in 34,000.

Because of its size, it has also been assigned a high degree of risk – but it won’t arrive for another eight centuries.

First sighted in 1950, hence the name, it has been observed since the turn of the millennium.

In 2032, 6,959,357 miles away, it will make a close pass that will allow for further observations.

NASA points out that we have 35 generations to deal with the problem.

NASA says, “If it is finally decided that 1950 DA needs to be diverted, the centuries-old warning could allow for a method as simple as dusting the asteroid’s surface with chalk or charcoal, or maybe white glass beads, or sending a solar sail spacecraft to end.” , by collapsing its reflective sail around the asteroid.

“These things would change the reflectivity of the asteroid and allow sunlight to push the asteroid out of the way.”

Name: Toutatis

Chances of impact? N / A

Date of potential impact: 2562

The giant asteroid sparked fear in 2004 but won't be back for quite a while (NASA)

The giant asteroid sparked fear in 2004 but won’t be back for quite a while (NASA)

Toutatis will not be near Earth for some time (NASA)

Toutatis will not be near Earth for some time (NASA)

This giant asteroid is three miles across and narrowly shaved Earth in 2004, traveling four times the distance from Earth to the Moon – and sparking a wave of unwarranted doomsday predictions.

There won’t be another narrow pass like this one until 2562, NASA predicts.

NASA says, ‘Based on extensive optical and radar observations, the orbit of Toutatis is one of the best determined of any asteroid, and there is no chance that this object will collide with Earth during this encounter – or any other encounter for at least five centuries.’ Six asteroids on course to hit Earth – one has a 10 percent chance

Source link