The European Space Agency has estimated that an asteroid due to fly by Earth later this year has a one in 7299 chance of colliding with our planet.
We have seen enough disaster movies to know that those tasked with protecting our planet are ready for anything space has to throw at us. Whether that be an alien invasion or an asteroid. The dinosaurs might have been wiped out when a giant space rock collided with our planet but we will not be going the same way.
Or perhaps not. A study published in Icarus earlier this year revealed that the bigger the impending asteroid, the harder it will be to blow up. We don't know why we needed a study to tell us that. Perhaps in the back of our minds, we made ourselves feel better by thinking that the bigger the asteroid, the bigger the target to aim at. And if it's a small one, we don't really have much to worry about.
Turns out a small(ish) one might collide with Earth later this year, reports Space.com. The European Space Agency recently revealed that asteroid 2006 QV89 has a one in 7299 chance of slamming into the planet we call home later this year. The ESA keeps a list of objects that could potentially collide with Earth and released the latest odds during its June 6 update.
Harking back to that asteroid which wiped out the dinosaurs, and 2006 QV89 is pretty insignificant in comparison. The life-ending asteroid which hit Earth millions of years ago was a staggering six miles wide. 2006 QV89, on the other hand, is just 130 feet. That's roughly the same length as two bowling allies placed end to end, just in case you're having trouble picturing it.
If the asteroid doesn't hit Earth, it won't be the last we see of the space rock. Turns out the meteor will be flying by our planet pretty regularly. It will come back again in 2032, 2045, and 2062. Chances are it won't come any closer to us than 4.2 million miles, more than 17 times further away than the moon. Fingers crossed it doesn't defy the odds and it stays that far away.