A few days ago, on February 27, astronomers discovered a new asteroid his baptism 2023DW. In a joint effort of several space agencies, it was found that there is a small possibility of this asteroid hit Earth on February 14, 2046: 23 years from now.
The latest estimates suggest that the asteroid is approx 50 meters in diameter. Although it seems little, it would be enough to cause significant damage to the area it reached.
2023DW is currently at the top of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) space hazard list.
It is worth remembering that, however, the analysis of the object’s trajectory so far has been based less than 100 observations. That’s a small number, and that’s exactly why the conclusions about your route are still preliminary. In the coming weeks, more data and observations of the object will be able to improve the estimate of its orbit.
Currently, the probability that the object will hit the planet is already less than 1% (more specifically, 1 in 625). Astronomers believe that with a more refined estimate of the orbit, the probability must become zero. However, it is possible to mathematically estimate the likely impact locations.
The asteroid is right now the only tracking object that scores on the Torino scale. Its value is 1, which means that this is an item that deserves attention, but does not yet pose any confirmed risk to us.
Generally, what happens with the discovery of objects of this type is that, as Trajectory estimates are becoming more refined, astronomers end up discovering that the object will eventually pass away from the planet. This happened several times the last months.
The Torino scale is used to categorize the risk posed to us by asteroids and comets. Combines the impact probability and potential damage of the object into a single value ranging from 0 (not dangerous) to 10 (very dangerous).
You might be wondering why threatening meteors done more numerous the last months. The fact is that the number of asteroids does not change, but our technology does.
Why are more and more meteorites classified as dangerous?
It’s not that there are more and more of them, but increasing space observation technology allows astronomers to do so to identify objects that previously could not be observed.
This means that in the coming years, discover objects like the 2023DW it will become routine. Telescopes like the Vera RubinTHE NEW Surveyor and NEOMIRsoon to be launched, will be able to detect even smaller and more numerous objects.
Just a month ago, the Hungarian Krisztián Sárneczky discovered an asteroid just hours before it hit France. The object was tiny and produced only a brief projection of lights across the country, but it shows how detection capability is increasing.
For now, we can sleep easy: 2023DW will likely not hit the planet and if it does, it will be far from causing the end of the human race. The object is similar to the meteorite that hit Russia in 1908: it was able to destroy part of a forest and cause three deaths, but in any case, you Your damage was only superficial.