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European Space Agency Detects New Asteroid With Chance Of Hitting Earth In 70 Years

European Space Agency Detects New Asteroid With Chance Of Hitting Earth In 70 Years

The European Space Agency (ESA) has added an asteroid to their Risk List which they estimate could be close to hitting Earth in 2084.

The space rock has been identified as 2019 SU3 and, according to the MailOnline, it has a diameter of 46 feet and is listed as the fourth most dangerous asteroid threatening to hit out planet.

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The ESA noted that the impact could occur on 16 September 2084 (at 17:53 which is impressive) and during this time it is expected to pass Earth from a distance of 0.00079 astronomical units or roughly 73,435 miles away. Which might sound ridiculous but is actually a pretty short distance in space terms.

The asteroid is expected to be 0.00079 astronomical units or roughly 73,435 miles away. Credit: PA
The asteroid is expected to be 0.00079 astronomical units or roughly 73,435 miles away. Credit: PA

With this being relatively close, the International Business Times reported that a slight nudge could have it colliding with Earth.

2019 SU3 was added to the Risk List, which includes all space rocks with non-zero Earth impact probabilities but the ESA has also added the asteroid to the Priority List which means a close eye is being kept on it.

According to the agency, the asteroids chances of hitting Earth are 'one out of 152'.

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Fortunately, the asteroid isn't big enough to cause a major impact event even if it does collide with Earth.

The asteroid has been put on the Priority List. Credit: ESA
The asteroid has been put on the Priority List. Credit: ESA

Back in June, NASA was planning on sending a craft to an asteroid that is jam-packed with gold and platinum which could, theoretically, make everyone on Earth a billionaire.

The asteroid, named 16 Psyche, also contains iron and nickel, with a combined value of £8,000,000,000,000,000,000 (or £8,000 quadrillion/$10,000 quadrillion). If brought back to Earth and mined, we could all be made billionaires, which would be nice...

Sadly though, even if scientists could haul it to Earth, it would crash the world's economy, which is worth £59.9 trillion ($75 trillion) - swings and roundabouts.

16 Psyche is thought to be filled with precious metals. Credit: NASA
16 Psyche is thought to be filled with precious metals. Credit: NASA

Four months ago, the asteroid was somewhere between Mars and Jupiter and was about 140 miles (226 kilometres) in diameter.

NASA has been aware of 16 Psyche for a while, but now the space agency is planning to launch a craft to the asteroid in August 2022. It's hoped that it will be at 16 Psyche by early 2026 and spend just shy of two years in orbit, while it carries out a study of the rock using all manner of high-tech gadgetry such as a gamma ray and neutron spectrometer.

Featured Image Credit: ESA

Topics: News, Interesting, space

Rebecca Shepherd

I'm Becky - a journalist at LADbible. I graduated with a First Class BA in Journalism before going on to cover criminal court cases, medical tribunals and breaking news for the national media - which inevitably and eventually became as glum as it sounds. Can often be found rocking a bag for life - which I made a 'thing' way before Rihanna. You can contact me at [email protected]

 

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