Asteroid could hit Earth on Valentine’s Day in 23 years

Asteroid could hit Earth on Valentine’s Day in 23 years


March 9, 2023 | 2:33 in the morning

An asteroid the size of an Olympic swimming pool has a slim chance of hitting Earth on Valentine’s Day 23 years from now, according to scientists.

The asteroid, named 2023 DW, has a 625 chance of hitting Earth on February 14, 2046, according to the European Space Agency.

The space rock, with a diameter of 50 meters, is at the top of the agency’s “Danger List” of space objects that have a greater than zero probability of impacting Earth.

2023 DW is the only asteroid on the list that scored a 1 on the Turin scale, which is used to categorize the risk of impact at Earth level. Everyone else has 0 ratings.

Level 1 indicates that the possibility of a collision is “extremely unlikely without any reason for public attention or public concern,” according to the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies.

An asteroid named 2023 DW was recently predicted to have a small chance of hitting Earth on February 14, 2046 NASA Asteroid Watch

“New telescopic observations will most likely lead to reassignment to Level 0,” the scale says.

NASA said it has tracked 2023 DW, stating that it has “a very small chance of hitting Earth in 2046”.

“Often when new objects are first discovered, several weeks of data are needed to reduce uncertainties and adequately predict their orbits years into the future,” NASA Asteroid Watch wrote.

Orbital analysts will continue to monitor its movement, the agency added.

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As noted by Kevin Heider #2023DW (diameter ~48 meters), JPL shows a 1 in 1200 chance of impact on February 14, 2046. Here is an image on February 28.88 UT, mv ~ 20.0, from Sormano2 (G. Ventre).

— PS (@Piero_Sicoli) March 1, 2023

If the risk of 2023 DW hitting Earth increases, NASA has proven it has the technology to protect the planet.

Last year NASA successfully changed the orbit of a small asteroid in order to redirect its trajectory in a mission called DART.

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