For a few years now the main space agencies are taking the risk that comes from space very seriously.
Asteroids have become one of the defense concerns, and therefore efforts are intensified to minimize these potential hazards by making checklists and monitoring of potentially harmful rocks.
This is the case of the European Space Agency (ESA), which has recently incorporated one of these objects into its List of Risks, placing it as the fourth most likely to star in a land impact.
Identified on September 23, SU3 2019 is a rock about 14 meters in diameter. According to ESA, the probability that the asteroid collides with us is 1 in 147. And it will do so in 65 years – specifically on September 16, 2084.
Although it may seem like a long time, plans to divert asteroids from their impact trajectory against Earth can take years, so from space agencies they try to identify these risks as soon as possible to have a sufficient margin of action.
In addition, according to calculations, the rock will approach us at a distance of only 0.00079 astronomical units , about 118,000 kilometers away.
Given that these bodies are considered to pose a danger within a range of 0.05 astronomical units (receiving the name of NEO, the acronym for Near-Earth Objects), the importance of having SU3 2019 guarded is remarkable.
Therefore, apart from cataloging SU3 2019 in the List of Risks, it has also been included in the Agency’s Priority List, which means that ESA will monitor this asteroid.
From the space agency they send a message of tranquility stating that a slight gravitational “push” to the asteroid could divert their trajectory.
According to ESA, the 2019 SU3 is an Apollo rock with a very wide orbit around the Earth and the Sun.
Occasionally, the asteroid’s orbit intersects with Earth’s. As SU3 2019 completes its orbit, it sometimes passes near other planets, including Venus, Mercury and Mars.
The gravitational attraction of any of these planets can easily alter its orbit, either to move it away from us or to direct its path directly here.
However, experts believe that given its small size, its impact would not be significant enough to cause massive damage to the Earth.
They think that it is most likely that it explodes in contact with the atmosphere, as happened with the meteorite that exploded over the sky of the Russian town of Chelyabinsk.
Although it did not directly impact the surface, this rock measuring 19 meters in diameter caused more than 1,000 injuries and damage to hundreds of houses.
Although, unlike SU3 2019, astronomers could not locate it in time.
The information about the NEOs is public and can be consulted on pages such as the NASA JPL Center or the ESA NEO portal, which indicates in real time the “threats” of these objects and the probability that Its orbit coincides with our passage.