ESA warns, Asteroid may collide with Earth as soon as 70 years from now
Asteroids known as near-Earth objects are among the most dangerous space items, with space agencies around the world keeping a close eye on them. The European Space Agency is paying particular attention to asteroid 2019 SU3, which may collide with Earth as soon as 70 years from now.
2019 SU3 is also on the ESA’s Priority List, which the European agency says is used to “observe especially newly discovered objects into four categories: urgent, necessary, useful and low priority.”
The ESA said 2019 SU3 is expected to come within 0.00079 astronomical units, approximately 73,000 miles when it passes Earth in 2084. Asteroids that come within 0.05 astronomical units and measure more than 460 feet in diameter are known as “potentially hazardous” NEOs, according to NASA.
NEOs are tracked by NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS). NASA is also tracking 2019 SU3, but its data only goes out to 2077, seven years before the data from the ESA.
According to a 2018 report put together by Planetary.org, there are more than 18,000 NEOs.
Asteroid 2019 SU3 currently ranked as fourth most dangerous space rock- ESA
According to ESA, the asteroid has been identified as 2019 SU3. It is currently ranked as the fourth most dangerous space rock on the agency’s risk list, which catalogs all space rocks with non-zero Earth impact probabilities.
In addition to the hazard list, the 2019 SU3 is also on the agency’s priority list, which means that ESA is keeping an eye on the trajectory of this heavenly body. To date, the 2019 SU3 is only this ESA Risk List 12 days ago. According to the agency, the star’s chances of hitting Earth are one in 152.
The year 2084 could witness asteroid collision against Earth planet
ESA noted that the potential impact of the asteroid on Earth could occur on September 16th of 2084. During this time, it is expected to approach Earth at a distance of only 0.00079 astronomical units or about 118 km away.
Given this short distance, a slight push on the asteroid could easily send it to the Earth. This can happen if the star is affected by the gravitational pull of nearby planets. According to ESA, 2019 SU3 is an Apollo asteroid with a very wide orbit around Earth and the Sun. Occasionally, the rock’s orbit intersects with Earth’s.
Apollo Class Threat
When 2019 SU3 completes its orbit, it sometimes passes close to other planets, including Venus, Mercury, and Mars. The gravitational force of these planets can easily alter the rock’s trajectory.
Fortunately, the rock is not large enough to cause a major impact event if it collides with the planet. As stated in the ESA database, 2019 SU3 has an estimated diameter of about 12 meters. Due to its small size, the asteroid will probably burn in the earth’s atmosphere rather than hit the ground.