NASA Discovers Asteroid That Could Hit Earth on Valentine’s Day 2046

2023 DW Asteroid Rending NASA

Photo: Screenshot from NASA/Eyes on Asteroids

Sixty-six million years ago, an enormous asteroid crashed into Earth. The collision not only decimated the dinosaurs but also created a giant crater under the Yucatán Peninsula. So it's no surprise that NASA keeps a close eye on potential threats from asteroids. And the government agency has just released news that a newly discovered asteroid could collide with Earth on Valentine's Day 2046.

Estimated to be the size of an Olympic swimming pool, 2023 DW has a “small chance” of making contact with our planet according to NASA's Planetary Space Agency. While 2023 DW is currently over 11 million miles from Earth, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Sentry system gives it a 1 in 560 chance of hitting Earth.

Davide Farnocchia, a navigation engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, told CNN that the asteroid is not particularly concerning, but the space agency is still gathering information about its orbit. The NASA Asteroid Watch Twitter account wrote that after discovering a new asteroid, “it takes several weeks of data to reduce the uncertainties and adequately predict their orbits years into the future.”

If further analysis reveals that 2023 DW is more of a threat than originally thought, NASA will be ready. In September 2022, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (Dart) went on its first mission and successfully knocked a stadium-sized asteroid out of Earth's way.

This makes NASA optimistic that it can successfully defend our planet in case 2023 DW—or another asteroid—becomes a real threat to Earth's safety.

NASA has just discovered a large asteroid that could potentially collide with Earth on Valentine's Day 2046.

Luckily, if it becomes a threat, NASA has developed a successful way to defend our planet.

h/t: [CNN]

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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