Asteroid 2006 QV89, which has been in news for the past couple of weeks because of its slim chance of hitting the Earth later this year, has no intention of hitting the terrestrial planet. Asteroid 2006 QV89, which measures 20 to 50 meters in diameter, was on ESA’s (European Space Agency) ‘risk list’ last month. ESA has confirmed that the space rock hasn't appeared in the sky yet, ruling out an impact any time soon.
Earlier, the ESA stated that there’s only around a 1-in-7000 chance that the massive chunk of rock will collide with us. But the space agency has now adjusted the probability to zero and it is confirmed that it won’t collide with the Earth.
The space agency describes the ‘Risk List’ as a catalogue of all objects for which a non-zero impact probability has been detected. It should be noted that the asteroid 2006 QV89 collision, if it would have taken place, would be more powerful than the largest meteor strike yet recorded.
In the year 2013, a 20-metre asteroid exploded over Chelyabinsk in Russia. That was 440 kilotons and left 1,500 people injured, mostly from glass flying out of smashed windows.
It is worth mentioning here that on December 18 last year, a large meteoroid was exploded over the Bering Sea, however, it went unnoticed due to the remote location. According to NASA, the explosion of meteoroid unleashed around 173 kilotons of energy, more than 10 times that of the atomic bomb blast over Hiroshima in World War II.
NASA, in the meantime, classifies any rock that comes within 30 million miles of our planet as a ‘Near-Earth Object’. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine warned that large asteroid impacts are a very real threat to our planet. “These events are not rare. They happen. The fact is that we’ve had three such events in the last 100 years,’ he added.