NASA says an asteroid the size of an Olympic swimming pool could hit Earth in 23 years
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An asteroid the size of an Olympic swimming pool with a chance of striking planet Earth in about 23 years time has been detected.
Humanity's ability to peer into the far-off reaches of space is getting rather amazing considering the wonderful things we've been able to see.
We've spotted galaxies which technically shouldn't exist but somehow do thanks to the James Webb telescope, and we've witnessed a supermassive black hole devouring a star by twisting it into a donut shape.
Even mysterious signals from nine billion light years away are no match for our ability to detect and identify them, so barring some manner of sudden alien invasion I think it's safe to say we're getting quite good at this space thing.
However, one constant concern is that of all the things hurtling around out there in space one of them could be headed right for us, ready to cause catastrophic damage to our planet and our way of life.
On that note, an asteroid is actually headed our way and according to NASA it could hit our planet in 2046, otherwise known as about 23 years from now.
Fortunately this asteroid heading in our general direction is not quite the nine-mile wide monstrosity that wiped out the dinosaurs, as it's apparently closer to the size of a swimming pool.
While you wouldn't want to be where it hits it wouldn't be game over for the human race, and even more fortunately the European Space Agency measures the chances of it actually hitting us at only about one in 625, while other expert assessments give it similarly unlikely odds of striking us.
If it did strike us then the likely date of impact would be 14 February, Valentine's Day, but it's incredibly unlikely that such a thing would happen.
Of all the objects in space we're monitoring all but one of them have a Torino scale (used to rate the risk of something hitting Earth) rating of zero, while this asteroid has a rating of one.
For context, that means it's 'extremely unlikely with no cause for public attention or public concern' so there's really nothing to worry about.
Even on the off chance that this swimming pool sized asteroid is headed right for us and is going to slam into planet Earth there's still very little reason to fret.
NASA have plans in place in case an asteroid is on collision course with our planet and they believe they have the know-how to knock something headed our way in another direction.
Last September NASA launched the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), which involved ramming a spaceship into a chunk of rock in space and successfully knocking it off course.
The space agency have declared that they are now confident in their ability to stop a potentially deadly asteroid from hitting us and sending us the way of the dinosaurs.
There you go, nothing to worry about.
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