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09th Mar 2023

Nasa confirms chance of newly-discovered asteroid hitting Earth

Charlie Herbert

The swimming-pool sized rock could hit the planet on Valentine’s Day

Nasa has confirmed that an asteroid is has been tracking could hit our planet on Valentine’s Day 2046.

The space agency has been tracking the ‘2023 DW’ asteroid which has a diameter of 50 metres. Earlier this month they said it had a one in 1,200 chance of hitting the Earth.

But just a few days later, the odds became one in 710. And now, Nasa reckons there is a one in 560 chance that the celestial body could come into contact with our planet.

The asteroid is also at the number one spot on a risk list managed by the European Space Agency’s Near Earth Objects Coordination Centre.

Although the risk seems to be heightining, Nasa has said the chance of impact is still “very small”, and that they expect the odds of impact to decline once they are able to gauge clearer observations.

“Often when new objects are first discovered, it takes several weeks of data to reduce the uncertainties and adequately predict their orbits years into the future,” Nasa said on Tuesday (7 February).

They shared that the potential impact could happen on Valentine’s Day 2046.

Nasa analysts announced they will continue to monitor their new discovery and provide updates once they have more data.

If it does turn out that the asteroid will strike us though, Nasa has already proven it has the technology to avoid a catastrophe.

Last year, the agency successfully managed to change the orbit of a smaller asteroid but firing a spacecrafy into it, in a mission called DART.

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