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2023 DW: New Asteroid with Risk of Impacting Earth in 2046

10,000 kilometer-long tail from asteroid Dimorphos. Credit: CTIO/NOIRLab/SOAR/NSF/AURA/T. Kareta (Lowell Observatory), M. Knight (US Naval Academy).

A newly discovered asteroid named 2023 DW, with a diameter of approximately 50 meters, is currently being tracked by NASA, as it follows a trajectory that presents a small risk of impact with Earth on February 14, 2046. While the probability of impact is currently estimated to be very low, scientists continue to monitor the asteroid's orbit to assess any potential risks to our planet.

A newly discovered asteroid with a diameter of about 50 meters is following a trajectory that poses a small risk of impact with Earth on February 14, 2046. The asteroid, named 2023 DW, was first spotted on February 26, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is still gathering data to predict its orbit in the future accurately.

According to the NASA asteroid tracking Twitter account, “We have been tracking a new asteroid called 2023 DW that has a very low probability of impacting Earth in 2046. Often, when new objects are discovered, several weeks of data are needed to reduce uncertainties and predict their orbits accurately in the future.”

The asteroid was discovered at the MAP San Pedro de Atacama Observatory and is currently estimated to be 0.12 astronomical units away from Earth, traveling at a relative speed of 24.63 kilometers per second. Its orbital period is 271 days. 2023 DW is a Tunguska event-sized asteroid.

As of March 8, the European Space Agency’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies predicts a direct impact probability of 1 in 625, which is recalculated daily. It is important to note that this is still a very low probability, and scientists will continue to monitor the asteroid’s trajectory to assess any potential risks to Earth.

It is difficult to determine the exact number of asteroids in our solar system, as new ones are constantly being discovered. As of March 2023, over 1 million asteroids have been discovered and catalogued, with the number increasing every day as new surveys and observations are made. However, it is estimated that there could be millions more asteroids in our solar system that have yet to be discovered.

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