An asteroid could collide with Earth in 2046
It's not about passing next to each other, it's about collision.
News about asteroids that will pass dangerously close to Earth is often the product of biased headlines. As a rule, such a dangerous distance is perfectly safe. This time, however, NASA has announced that there is an asteroid that could actually collide with Earth in 2046. We are not talking about passing close by, but about a collision. The probability of this is small, and because of its size it would not mean the end of the world.
We are talking about asteroid 2023 DW, which was discovered last February. NASA scientists calculated its trajectory, and unlike what has happened to other near-Earth objects in recent analyses, they could not rule out a collision. Its probability is low, 0'18%, but it is. It is currently the only one of all the tracked objects whose risk is greater than zero.
With 23 more years to go, the trajectory could change, and most likely there will be no collision.
This asteroid is 47 meters wide, three times larger than the one that fell near Chelyabinsk in 2013. This impact released energy 30 times greater than the energy of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, although logically it carried no radiation. Thousands of people needed medical attention, although there were no fatalities.
This time, even if it is larger, whether it will be more or less destructive will depend on its composition. It depends on whether it has many voids in its structure or whether it is denser and harder.
The situation could change.
The risk of collision with near-Earth objects is rated from 1 to 10 on the Torino scale. This asteroid has been classified as risk 1. That is, the risk is very low. However, it is currently the only object under study whose risk level is different from 0. There was another one, Apophis, which was classified as risk 4. However, as it got closer and its trajectory could be better calculated, it declined until it was at risk 0 in 2021.
That's why it's so important to pay attention. Be careful, but don't panic. In the remote event it collides, it is impossible to tell where it will be. Nevertheless, it has been possible to establish a line of maximum danger that crosses Indonesia across the Pacific, over northern Mexic
Read also: NASA spacecraft presented clear images of Jupiter's satellite Io.