The risk of the new asteroid – with the name 2023 DW and an estimated diameter of 50 meters – ruining Valentine’s Day in 2046 is still minimal at 1 in 607, NASA points out, but still. The second highest risk object, 2001 VB, has only a 1 in 3.34 million chance of impact. 2023 DW was added only ten days ago to the European Space Agency’s “risk list” of objects that could strike Earth in the future, and is therefore at the top of the list.
2023 DW, hurtling towards Earth at 15.30 miles per second, is also the only asteroid on the entire list with a Turin score of 1, the scale that measures the probability of collision with Earth. This means that there is “no unusual level of danger”. “Current calculations show that the probability of an impact is extremely unlikely, and there is no cause for concern among the general public. Further telescopic observations are likely to lead to a reassessment to Level 0.”
All the other 1,448 objects on the risk list already have a score of 0, which means “the probability of a collision is nil or practically non-existent”. For your information, the highest score is 10 and signifies “an established collision that could cause a global climate catastrophe that could threaten the future of civilization as we know it today.”
According to NASA, there is therefore no reason for danger. “We are tracking a new asteroid called 2023 DW which has a very low chance of hitting Earth in 2046,” the organization said on Twitter. “When new objects are first discovered, it often takes several weeks to resolve uncertainties and predict their future trajectory. We will continue to monitor 2023 DW and continually update our predictions.”
Anyone who wants to follow 2023 DW on its journey to Earth in the years to come can visit NASA’s Eyes on Asteroids website.
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