Is there a threat of an asteroid impact on Earth next year?
Unlikely, judge the experts
Photo: Mark Garlick / Science Photo Library / Getty Images
NASA keeps a list of the "near-earth objects" that could potentially hit our planet.
A new celestial body has been listed in first place for a few days: the asteroid »2022 AE1«.
He was discovered on January 6th.
According to NASA, it brings "2022 AE1" to a size of around 70 meters in diameter.
And it could hit the earth.
There are two possible dates for an impact.
The second is given in July 2028, the first is even less far in the future - it is July 4, 2023.
The Turin and Palermo scales help with the classification
But possible does not mean that the case will also occur.
The probability of an impact is given as 1 in 1500.
There is no acute need to panic, as various key figures show.
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The so-called Palermo scale offers a measure to sort near-earth objects with regard to their danger to the earth. It combines various variables - the impact probability, the kinetic energy, the remaining time until a potential impact - into one number. So how does the evaluation with the Palermo scale work? A value of 0 means that an object has the same probability of hitting the earth as any other celestial object that is at least as large. If the value +2 were assigned to an asteroid, this would mean: The danger of an impact is 100 times greater than that of an impact with a random object. For events with a value between 0 and -2, consequences on earth are unlikely.
A second tool for assessing the risk of an asteroid impact is the Turin scale.
It combines various parameters in one class.
Class 0 means: The probability of a collision is effectively zero or the object is simply too small to be able to cause damage.
Class 10 means: The collision is safe, a global catastrophe is imminent.
In case you've seen the film "Don't Look Up" - it's about a 10.
»2022 AE1« achieves 1 out of 10
So how is »2022 AE1« rated?
On the Palermo scale, the new asteroid scores -0.89 - you remember: negative is good in this case.
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On the Turin scale, experts rate the newcomer with a 1. NASA defines it as follows: »A routine discovery that predicts a flyby of Earth that does not pose any unusual hazard potential.
Current calculations show that the likelihood of a collision is extremely unlikely and there is no cause for public attention or concern.
New telescopic observations will very likely lead to a reclassification to level 0. «