Scientists recalculate the chances of asteroid 2023 DW crashing into Earth

Astronomers have overestimated the risk of a newly discovered asteroid hitting Earth in 2046, capable of destroying an entire city. The chances of a sad outcome were small.

At the end of February this year, the Chilean observatory announced the discovery of a new asteroid with a diameter of about 50 meters. It was named 2023 DW. The space boulder quickly attracted the attention of scientists and the public: according to estimates, in 2046 it will fly up to a dangerous distance to our planet and with a probability of one in 432 will collide with it on February 14, Valentine’s Day.

However, according to France24.com, the European Space Agency has recalculated the risks. Richard Moissl, head of the Office for Planetary Defense Coordination, said the chance of 2023 DW hitting Earth has dropped to one chance in 1584 and continues to drop.

If the asteroid nevertheless crashes into the Earth, the collision with it will resemble the fall of the Tunguska meteorite, when trees were knocked down over an area of ​​more than two thousand kilometers. In other words, the consequences will be regional in nature and will not particularly affect the Earth as a whole.

Among the potential places where 2023 DW will fall are the United States, Australia or the countries of Southeast Asia, but with a probability of 70 percent it will collapse into the Pacific Ocean. In addition, it is possible that in the event of a real danger, the asteroid can be deflected from orbit using a spacecraft specially launched in its direction, similar to DART, which successfully hit the asteroid in September 2022.

However, for earthlings to seriously consider plans to deorbit 2023 DW, the probability of its collision with our planet must exceed one in 100. Until then, according to Moissl, you should “relax, but keep looking up.”

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