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No, The Riskiest Asteroid Won't Collide With Earth In 2052; Details Inside

By: Buzz Staff

Local News Desk

Last Updated: July 06, 2022, 15:41 IST

This is why the United Nations sanctioned a day for creating awareness of the risks of asteroid impacts.

This is why the United Nations sanctioned a day for creating awareness of the risks of asteroid impacts.

The European Space Agency (ESA) has removed asteroid - 2021 QM1 - from their risk list.

It is safe to say that the riskiest asteroid known to humankind will not impact the Earth, at least not for the next century. A threatening space rock topping the risk lists around the globe for months, with a real chance of striking Earth on April 2, 2052, has been removed from the dangerous category. The European Space Agency (ESA)’s asteroid team working with experts at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) has officially removed – 2021 QM1 – from their asteroid risk list.

2021 QM1 caught the attention of experts of Mount Lemmon Observatory on August 28, 2021. At first, nothing unusual was noted about the discovery as a dozen new near-Earth asteroids are spotted every dark night. Routine follow-up observations were subsequently acquired from telescopes around the globe, and eventually the results caused worry.

“These early observations gave us more information about the asteroid’s path, which we then projected into the future,” said ESA’s head of Planetary Defence, Richard Moissl. He explained that the future paths of the asteroid reflected to be around the sun, and there was a possibility of it coming dangerously close to the Earth by 2052.

After a point, it became difficult to keep a track of the asteroid as its path brought it closer to the sun, and the glare made it impossible to watch.

Notably, the calculations of orbit are based on observations drawn over a few nights and therefore they can be uncertain.

The new observations refined the path of the risky asteroid, ruling out an impact in 2052. Following 2021 QM1 was removed from ESA’s risk list, but 1,377 asteroids still remain on the watch list, and there are high chances of them becoming a matter of concern at any time.

Even today, people are unaware about the impact an asteroid can cause on the earth’s surface. This is why the United Nations sanctioned a day for creating awareness of the risks of asteroid impacts. Asteroid Day is observed on June 30, every year.

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first published:July 06, 2022, 15:41 IST
last updated:July 06, 2022, 15:41 IST