NASA Discovers Asteroid That Has a Chance of Hitting Earth on Valentine’s Day 2046

Written by Reananda Hidayat Permono Completed Master of Science - MS, Petroleum Geology from Curtin University, Perth, Australia.

NASA’s Planetary Defense revealed they have been tracking an asteroid named 2023 DW that has a small chance of hitting Earth on Feb 14, 2046.

It will pass the Earth at a distance of 1.1 million miles. The agency classifies a near-Earth object as a space object within 30 million miles of Earth.

The agency’s Planetary Defense will alert the public and the government if any asteroid comes close to that margin.

Asteroid 2023 DW is about 162 feet wide (as wide as an NFL football field) and takes 271 days to finish one solar orbit.

When finding new objects, NASA said it needs several weeks of data to predict the orbits years into the future.

The asteroid is at the top of NASA’s monitoring list, scoring 1 out of 10 on the Torino scale.

Score 1 means there is no cause for public attention as the chance of collision is extremely unlikely.

Moreover, the agency gives it a 1 in 560 chance of affecting Earth.

However, NASA orbit analysts explained they would resume monitoring the asteroid movement and update predictions.

In 2021, NASA launched DART (Double Asteroid Redirect) mission for a planetary-defense method that could save Earth one day.

The agency conducted the DART mission in September 2022 to change the orbit of asteroid Didymos and its moonlet Dimorphos.