The European Space Agency has discovered asteroid 2019 SU3, which is approaching towards Earth. This space object entered in the risk list of top 10 late September. Based on observations of its trajectory, scientists found that it has a possibility of impacting our planet with a 1 in 400 chance. This is still relatively low, with even the gloomiest estimates placing the chances of hitting it the blue planet at less than 1 percent. But the fact is that the odds are not a nice round 0 percent, therefore, astronomers will keep a close eye on it. “2019 SU3 is a new space object that entered into our top 10 risk list late last month, because it has a better than zero chance of hitting our planet,” Planetary Defense Office of the European Space Agency said in its October newsletter.
But the good news is that the size of the newly discovered object is very small and there is nothing much to worry about. According to scientists, the size of this space rock is about 15 meters or 49 feet and therefore it would have limited impact even in the case of impact. To give you some sense of it, the size of the bolide that exploded over Russia in 2013 was approximately 66 feet or 20 meters. However, the size of this object could be much larger before it entered into our atmosphere. So even if this space object does impact the blue planet, it won’t be a city-killer. But it could be among one of the most significant impacts of the century. The impact may take place in less than 70 years.
Also, the space object will pass within approximately73,000 miles or 0.00079 astronomical units. That might seem like a nice, comfortable distance, but this is 30 percent of the distance between the moon and the earth. However, asteroid 2019 SU3 has now slipped at the 40th position on the risk list. According to researchers, space objects are considered ‘potentially hazardous’ if they are more than 460 feet in size and come within 0.05 astronomical units.