NASA carefully watches a suspicious asteroid aiming to hit Earth in 2046
Say hello to asteroid 2023 DW, which has a low threat of hitting Earth on Valentine’s Day in 2046. While many are suddenly concerned about the odds of it striking our planet, the European Space Agency (ESA) says we have nothing to worry about. Still, that doesn’t stop NASA from watching the stars and making sure we’re safe.
The ESA discovered 2023 DW on February 26, 2023. The asteroid is 50 meters high with a 1 in 607 chance of actually hitting planet Earth. Based on the current trajectory and speed, it’s calculated that the asteroid might reach us by 2046.
If the ESA isn’t that concerned, then why is NASA watching its path to make sure we remain safe?
CNN had a video call with the NASA Planetary Defense Office, specifically Davide Farnocchia as a navigation engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory:
You can listen to his interesting discussion about how they measure the movement of the asteroid, but here’s the key point. Asteroids receive a rating on the Torino scale that indicates the risk of collision with Earth. There are currently 1,448 asteroids on that record with a rating of 0. 2023 DW is now the only one that’s moved up to 1.
Of course, the ESA and NASA will continue to watch it move across space while assuring us that we don’t have to worry. My only issue is that I’m hoping someone is still putting measurements in place just in case something does happen.
Remember when China and the world thought COVID wasn’t that serious when they first discovered the virus? We shouldn’t wait until 2046 when it’s clear there is a threat to suddenly send a Ben Affleck lookalike up to the object to plant a nuke and tell it that it’s Batman in a deep voice.
In any event, we’ll also be watching for more news on 2023 DW. Hopefully, I’ll still be around by then to write about it.