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Asteroid Watch: Olympic Pool-Sized Asteroid Has Small Chance of Hitting Earth in 2046

Many years into the future, there’s a small chance an olympic-pool-sized asteroid may strike the Earth, NASA said.

NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office, which “detects, tracks, and characterizes Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) to enable mitigation of potential future NEO impacts,” said the team has been tracking the new asteroid, named 2023 DW.

The team uses data to predict NEOs’ orbits years into the future.

“Orbit analysts will continue to monitor asteroid 2023 DW and update predictions as more data comes in,” NASA said.

While the team said there is a chance it could impact Earth, it’s a small chance.

You can see the asteroid here at NASA/JPL’s site.

It takes about 271 days for the asteroid to circle the sun, or one “solar orbit.”

On Feb. 14, 2046, the asteroid will be closest to Earth, according to the data.

You can see more asteroids being tracked here at Asteroid Watch.

Asteroids are rocky formations that formed closer to the sun than Jupiter, NASA’s site says.

Comets, like asteroids, are remnants left over from the early days of the formation of the solar system, NASA says.

Comets formed farther away from the sun than Jupiter, and therefor have more ice in their makeup.

Some 50,000 years ago, a similar-sized crater struck Arizona and formed a mile-wide crater.

That meteor was made of iron, “which made it an especially potent impactor,” NASA said.

NBC Los Angeles

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