NASA is closely monitoring a newly discovered asteroid that has a small chance of hitting Earth on February 14, 2046, which is Valentine’s Day. The asteroid, named 2023 DW, is approximately 164 feet in diameter and is roughly the size of an Olympic swimming pool.
According to officials, the probability of the asteroid actually striking Earth is 1 in more than 600. On NASA’s risk scale, it has been categorized as “extremely unlikely … with no cause for public concern.” The agency is keeping a close eye on the asteroid and is gathering more information to further decrease the risk level.
Although not as catastrophic as the asteroid that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs 66 million years ago, this asteroid could cause significant damage if it were to impact a densely populated area. For instance, a smaller asteroid hit Russia in 2013 and generated a shock wave that injured 1,500 people and damaged thousands of buildings.
NASA is urging the public not to worry, as the risk level is currently low. However, the agency will continue to monitor the asteroid daily and provide updates as necessary.