Warning issued as asteroid is identified as fourth most likely to smash into Earth – as European Space Agency say it could hit the planet in 65 years
- ESA added asteroid 2019 SU3 to its long Risk List
- Asteroid is fourth ‘most dangerous’ as it has a 1 in 152 chance of hitting Earth
- It has an estimated diameter of 46 feet and could hit on Sept. 16, 2084
- However, experts say it is not large enough to create a major impact event
The European Space Agency (ESA) has added a new asteroid to the Risk List and it could hit Earth in 65 years.
Identified as 2019 SU3, this celestial body has an estimated diameter of 46 feet and is listed as the fourth most dangerous asteroid threatening to hit our planet.
The ESA noted that impact could occur September 16, 2084 and there is a one in 152 chance of the collision — but experts said it is not large enough to create a major impact event.
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The ESA has added a new asteroid (stock image) to the Risk List and it could hit Earth in less than 70 years. Identified as 2019 SU3, this celestial body has an estimated diameter of 46 feet and is listed as the fourth most dangerous asteroid threatening our planet
The Risk List is a catalog of all objects for which a non-zero impact probability has been detected.
Each entry contains details on the Earth approach posing the highest risk of impact and includes an estimated impact date, probability of impact and size and velocity of the asteroid.
And the ESA has added 2019 SU3 based on data it collected on the chances that it will hit Earth, as first reported by International Business Times.
It is also listed on the agency’s Priority List — allowing experts to keep a close watch on the asteroid’s path.
The ESA noted that impact could occur September 16, 2084 and there is a one in 152 chance of the collision — but experts said it is not large enough to create a major impact event (stock image)
The asteroid has been on the Risk List for about 12 days and according to the agency, it has a one in 152 chance of colliding with Earth.
The ESA noted that the asteroid’s potential Earth impact might take place on Sept. 16, 2084 and it is expected to head towards Earth from a distance of only 0.00079 astronomical units or roughly 73,435 miles away.
Because it will pass so closely to Earth, experts a weary that a slight nudge from the gravitational pull of neighboring planets could send it straight for our planet.
The agency has also noted that 2019 SU3 is an Apollo asteroid, part of a group of asteroids discovered in the 1930s, and it boasts a very wide orbit around our planet and the — it has been found to intersect with Earth’s own orbit.
It has also been found to cross over into the orbits of Venus, Mercury and Mars, which is where the deadly gravitational pull could come from.
WHAT COULD WE DO TO STOP AN ASTEROID COLLIDING WITH EARTH?
Currently Nasa would not be able to deflect an asteroid if it were heading for Earth but it could mitigate the impact and take measures that would protect lives and property.
This would include evacuating the impact area and moving key infrastructure.
Finding out about the orbit trajectory, size, shape, mass, composition and rotational dynamics would help experts determine the severity of a potential impact.
However, the key to mitigating damage is to find any potential threat as early as possible.
Nasa is currently moving forward with a refrigerator-sized spacecraft capable of preventing asteroids from colliding with Earth. A test with a small, nonthreatening asteroid is planned for 2024.
This is the first-ever mission to demonstrate an asteroid deflection technique for planetary defence.
The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) would use what is known as a kinetic impactor technique—striking the asteroid to shift its orbit.
The impact would change the speed of a threatening asteroid by a small fraction of its total velocity, but by doing so well before the predicted impact, this small nudge will add up over time to a big shift of the asteroid’s path away from Earth.
The ESA has warned that ‘by the time it reaches Earth’s vicinity, it might already be on a direct collision course with the planet’.
However, the asteroid is believed to not be large enough to create a major impact event if it does hit Earth,
Just last month the agency noted that there are currently 878 asteroids at risk of hitting the Earth in the next 100 years and explained that even a small asteroid could lead to ‘serious devastation’ and, to reduce the risks of a collision, the ESA and several other groups have joined together to search for asteroids
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