ESA has recently announced that an asteroid will soon pass closely by Earth. The space rock is expected to swing by our planet in September of this year, and the thing is, the agency has written it down on their risk list, which sounds kind of grim.
This asteroid is called 2006QV89, and its size reaches 40 meters in diameter (48.5 meters wide and 109 meters long).
However, being on ESA’s risk list means that the cosmic rock has a non-zero chance of impacting the Earth. It doesn’t mean it’s quite big, or that it would put the civilization at risk of it did crash into our planet. It just means that ESA has noticed it and are observing it through one of the world’s telescopes which is able to monitor it.
As said by ESA, 2006QV89 has a 1 in 7,299 chance of crushing with Earth, so that’s not close to 1 in 100 limit that would signal the need of action.
The asteroid is also at a distance of more than 6.7 million kilometers (4.2 miles) from Earth, and won’t get any closer to our planet until September, ESA says.
The space agency says that there is nothing to worry about, as both NASA and ESA and other space companies all over the world is always monitoring the skies and listing all the Near-Earth-Objects (NEO), just in case one approaches our planet.
If you’re still concerned, you should probably know that, besides that ESA Risk List of space rocks on which there are more than 850 asteroids listed, including the meteor called 2006QV89, mentioned above, ESA also has another list. That list is called the Priority List. It’s essentially a list that labels space objects that need follow up and constant monitoring.
The Priority List is split into four subcategories: low priority, useful, necessary, and the top one, urgent.
Therefore, there is no need to worry, as the asteroid ESA recently announced is not posing a risk to our planet.
Emmy Skylar started working for Debate Report in 2017. Emmy grew up in a small town in northern Manitoba. But moved to Ontario for university. Before joining Debate Report, Emmy briefly worked as a freelance journalist for CBC News. She covers politics and the economy.