Six asteroids on course to hit Earth - one has 10% chance trends now
Space experts this week warned of an Olympic swimming pool-sized space rock that might hit Earth on Valentine’s Day 2046 - but how many more are out there?
The good news is that it’s not time to head to the Doomsday bunkers yet - the Valentine’s Day asteroid (2023 DW) was rapidly given lower odds of hitting Earth.
But there are several asteroids out there with the potential to hit Earth in the coming centuries - although space agencies around the world are keeping a close eye on these.
Scroll down to read about the six asteroids:
NASA has also conducted a successful experiment where a small spacecraft deflected a space rock by ramming into it.
The good news is that very large asteroids - of the type that killed the dinosaurs - are being monitored, and all have been deemed 'extremely unlikely' to hit Earth.
NASA says that every day, more than 100 tons of rocky particles hit Earth - but football-field-sized asteroids only hit every 2,000 years.
Civilization-ending asteroids only collide with our planet once every few million years - and any rocks of this size are being closely watched.
So rocks most likely to hit Earth will probably burn up in the atmosphere or cause minimal damage - rather than being the civilization-ending impact beloved of Hollywood films.
Smaller rocks can have an impact though: the Chelyabinsk meteor which left 1,500 injured in 2013 when it exploded over Russia was just 59 feet in diameter.
During the 2013 Chelyabinsk event, 1500 people were injured and 7,300 buildings damaged by the intense overpressure generated by the shockwave at Earth’s surface.
NASA and other space agencies closely monitor ‘Potentially Hazardous Asteroids’.
Asteroids are rated on their likelihood of impacting Earth on three scales - the Torino Scale, a one-to-ten chart from 0 (won’t hit Earth) to 10 (will hit Earth, and will be catastrophic).
At present, no asteroid is ranked above one.
The related Palermo Scale is used by scientists to rank risk over a longer period - and NASA's Sentry Risk table classifies asteroids by their risk of hitting Earth.
Initial observations of asteroids tend to be brief, and as scientists get more data, the probability of impact drops.Name: 2023 DW Chances of impact? One in 1,584 Date of potential impact: 14 Feb 2046
Experts warned this week that this 160-foot asteroid could cause an explosion similar to the Tunguska event, which flattened more than 80 million trees.
But the odds of the rock hitting Earth on Valentine's Day 2046 have since been substantially reduced.
Richard Moissl, head of the ESA's planetary defence office reduced the odds of the asteroid hitting Earth from one in 784 to one in 1,584.
Moissi said: 'It will go down now with every observation until it reaches zero in a couple of days at the latest. No one needs to be worried about this guy.'Name: Bennu Chances