Good news for Earth: we don’t have to fear an asteroid strike for 1,000 years


While surfing the Internet, we come across news that a meteorite or other object will pass near the Earth every month. In fact, some conspiracy theories mention that these objects have a high probability of hitting the Earth. But this time, we have good news that says that won’t happen for the next 1,000 years. NASA and other observatories are tracking the orbits of every object discovered in the Solar System, especially keeping a close eye on larger objects called “near-Earth objects” (NEOs). Because these objects need to be carefully examined as they can cause devastating effects if they intersect with Earth. Because astrophysicists can predict the future orbits of objects, they can also predict whether they will enter part of our Solar System. By this time, astronomers have been able to predict the future orbits of objects up to about 100 years ahead. According to NASA, no asteroids larger than 140 meters will hit the Earth in the next 100 years. The better news is; It comes from a team led by Oscar Fuentes-Muñoz at the University of Colorado: Asteroids are unlikely to cross Earth in the next 1,000 years. This is not easy to predict on longer time scales because orbital uncertainties are common. However, as the team reports, the evolution of the Minimum Orbital Intersection Distance (MOID) is being analyzed to overcome this limitation. MOID is the distance at which an asteroid or comet intersects with Earth’s orbit at its closest point. It is considered an important metric used to assess an object’s potential close passes to Earth and the risk of collision. Using this method, the team eliminated the possibility of most NEOs hitting our planet within the next 1,000 years. The object most likely to hit us, named 7482 (1994 PC1), has only a 0.00151% probability. According to estimates, 95% of objects above 1 km have been discovered. Therefore, there is a possibility that one of the objects that has not yet been found is heading directly towards us. However, the probability of a large asteroid hitting Earth is pretty low. Still, NASA is preparing for any eventuality. Last year, they managed to change the direction of the asteroid by crashing a spacecraft into the asteroid as part of the DART mission. Related Gallery Future aircraft designs from NASA Browse Gallery


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