A huge asteroid that has a good chance to fall to Earth in 2023 has reduced its chances of impact. Here's how

Credit image: ESA/NEOCC - Asteroid 2022 AE1 observed with the Calar Alto Schmidt telescope in Spain
Credit image: ESA/NEOCC - Asteroid 2022 AE1 observed with the Calar Alto Schmidt telescope in Spain

Article by: Andacs Robert Eugen, on 04 March 2022, at 11:23 am Los Angeles time

A giant asteroid that was supposed to fall on Earth in 2023 has just dropped its chances and will most likely avoid Earth without making an impact on it next year. There was extreme suspense in January, but also in early February with this asteroid, 70 meters long, entering the list of dangerous objects close to Earth of the ESA (European Space Agency). 

Its chances of hitting the Earth have increased so much that there is a possibility that the asteroid will make an impact with Earth, being the riskiest celestial object in the last decade. But the possibility of hitting the Earth was predicted by initial observations, which have now proven to be untrue. 

According to research on the 2022 AE1 asteroid, showed that the asteroid had a high risk of hitting Earth on July 4, 2023. 

Obs .: Even if the initial observations were completely true, the space agencies could do an urgent mission to divert the asteroid from orbit in such a way as to pass safely past the Earth. 

However, there is no need for special operations and missions, because the risks of the asteroid hitting the earth on July 4, 2023, are extremely low at this time, close to 0. 

There is no clear problem with the initial observations (for 7 days) when the asteroid's chances of hitting the Earth have increased alarmingly. However, something that prevented new observations was the Moon. 

Surprisingly, the full moon eclipsed the potential impact object, excluding subsequent observations. But as the moon began to recede and the sky became darker, astronomers at ESA's Near-Earth Object Coordination Center (NEOCC) began making new observations that proved the asteroid was unlikely to hit the Earth. 

Any potentially dangerous asteroid has a chance of hitting Earth, but these are very small, close to 0. However, at the initial observations on this asteroid, the chances were high. Usually, the objects that collide with the Earth are meteorites and very small asteroids, which disintegrate in the atmosphere and fall to Earth like a small pebble or just dust. 

In these new observations, the asteroid 2022 AE1 has been removed from ESA's list of risks, with no effects on Earth. The Palermo scale is used to determine the risk of an asteroid hitting Earth. This scale classifies the risk according to several factors such as the potential date of impact, the energy with which it would hit, and the probability of impact and other data, all combined. 

The asteroid AE1 reached the Palermo scale - 0.66. 

What does this mean? 

If an asteroid is classified on the Palermo scale between -2 and 0, then it must be closely monitored. If it is below -2, then there are no risks. But according to the new data, probably the asteroid fell on the Palermo scale.

So no impact in 2023!

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