A small asteroid may fall to Earth in 2046

Astronomers have discovered an asteroid that with a small probability may fall to Earth in 2046. This was reported by representatives of the NASA Planetary Defense Coordination Center.

Asteroid 2023 DW. Source: Piero Sicoli

The celestial body was found on February 26, 2023. It received the designation 2023 DW. The object is a 50-meter asteroid, part of a group of Atens. 

Shortly after the discovery, 2023 DW was assigned 1 point on the Torino Scale. It is used to assess the danger posed by celestial objects. The fact is that a preliminary analysis of the asteroid’s orbit shows that there is a small probability (1 in 625) that on February 14, 2046, it will fall to Earth, most likely somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.

Given the size of the body, it is not capable of creating global risks for our planet. At the same time, 2023 DW is large enough to pass through the earth’s atmosphere. Its fall over a densely populated area will be comparable to the consequences of an atomic bomb explosion, and falling into the ocean can lead to the formation of a tsunami.

The area of the potential fall of the asteroid 2023 DW. Source: Piero Sicoli

At the same time, astronomers emphasize that the probability that such a scenario is realized is extremely small. As current practice shows, almost always after additional observations and orbit clarification, the estimate of the probability of a potentially dangerous object falling decreases until it becomes finally clear that they do not pose a threat to the Earth. This, for example, happened to Apophis, once considered the most dangerous asteroid in the Solar System.

According to https://www.forbes.com

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