The newly discovered asteroid 2023 DW has a low probability of hitting Earth in 2046.
Munich – New asteroids are discovered almost every day, but very few of them pose a risk to Earth. However, there are also cases where experts take a closer look.
The recently discovered asteroid 2023 DW is one such example.
It was discovered on February 26, 2023 and it has been calculated that there is some probability of hitting Earth on February 14, 2046.
"We are observing a new asteroid called 2023 DW, which has a very low probability of hitting Earth in 2046," tweeted the Planetary Defense Coordination Office of the US space agency Nasa, explaining: "When new objects are discovered, it sometimes takes several weeks to reduce uncertainties and confidently predict their orbits years into the future.”
Newly discovered asteroid could hit Earth - chance about 1 in 625
NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) currently puts the probability of the asteroid hitting Earth in 2046 at 0.0018 percent.
The Near-Earth Objects Coordination Center of the European Space Agency ESA has calculated a probability of 0.0016 percent - this corresponds to an impact with a probability of 1 in 625.
February 26, 2023
37 to 82 meters
Probability of impact according to Esa
0.0016 percent (1 in 625)
Impact probability according to NASA:
Values are recalculated whenever new observations of the asteroid become available.
In the coming weeks and months, the risk of an impact will in all probability continue to decrease.
Asteroid 2023 DW is up to 82 meters tall
Asteroid 2023 DW is estimated to be between 37 and 82 meters in size.
If an asteroid of this size actually hit the earth one day, it would not have the effects like the asteroid impact 66 million years ago, which killed dinosaurs and numerous other animal and plant species, among other things.
However, an asteroid impact would not be harmless either.
An asteroid approaching Earth.
© imago/Ken Pilon
The damage caused by an impacting asteroid depends on several factors: Among other things, its size, its nature and the nature of the ground on which it hits play a role.
The larger an asteroid is, the higher the probability that it will survive entry into Earth's atmosphere.
Research is working on defense methods for asteroids
The asteroid, which exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia in February 2013 as it entered Earth's atmosphere and caused numerous injuries from shattered windows, was about 20 meters in diameter.
The asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago is said to have been about 14 kilometers across.
Even if the impact of the asteroid 2023 DW on Earth is very unlikely, researchers all over the world are working on methods of how to ward off dangerous asteroids.
To this end, NASA rammed an asteroid with the “Dart” space probe last fall.
The results of the mission were evaluated only recently and showed that mankind is capable of repelling an asteroid - if it has enough lead time.
Only recently an asteroid was discovered shortly before its impact on the earth.
Eyewitnesses were able to observe the spectacular asteroid.
List of rubrics: © imago/Ken Pilon