NASA: New asteroid on a collision course with Earth - an impact would be possible as early as next year
Created: 01/18/2022, 09:01
By: Yasina Hipp
NASA researchers discovered a new asteroid heading for Earth on January 6th.
A possible impact could not last much longer.
Washington DC - The scientists at the space agency NASA keep a list of "near-Earth objects" and classify them according to their danger to the planet and humanity.
So far, always the undisputed leader: A large space chunk with the likeable name "Bennu".
However, Bennu is not as likeable as he sounds, he is considered one of the most dangerous known asteroids in our solar system.
However, experts do not expect an impact until the year 2182. And even at this point in time, the probability of a collision is only 0.037 percent.
With the discovery of "2022 AE1" Bennu loses its first place in the NASA list.
Asteroid "2022 AE1": Impact possible next year
Just a few days ago, space researchers discovered the asteroid "2022 AE1".
Even if it is considered a rather small asteroid with a size of about 70 meters in diameter, it could soon come dangerously close to Earth.
According to NASA, there are now two possible dates for a collision with Earth: the first is July 4, 2023, the second is located in July 2028.
That's right - July 4th, 2023 is about a year and a half away.
However, a "possible" impact does not mean that it will occur 100 percent.
The experts give the probability of a collision of "2022 AE1" with a value of one in 1500.
Asteroid "2022 AE1": Two scales for classification
The US organization uses two scales to rate the celestial bodies. The "Palermo scale" summarizes the impact probability, the kinetic energy and the remaining time until a potential impact in one value. The scale ranges from -2 to +2. A value of 0 means that an object has the same probability of hitting earth as any other object of the same size or greater. At +2, however, the alarm bells ring: Here the probability is 100 times greater. "2022 AE1" reaches a value of -0.89 on the Palermo scale - so everything is harmless.
The second scale is the so-called "Turin scale".
It also summarizes various parameters and then divides the celestial bodies into classes from 0 ("collision probability is almost zero") to class 10 ("a global catastrophe is imminent").
"2022 AE1" is currently in Class 1. However, since the asteroid was only recently discovered and therefore not much is known about it, it is very likely that it will be downgraded quickly back to Class 0 in the future as knowledge increases.
Then Bennu gets his first place back.