NASA Is Tracking a Giant Asteroid That Could Hit Earth on Valentine’s Day 2046

But don’t worry just yet because according to the ESA, the odds are approx 1 in 607.

Credit: dottedhippo / iStock via Getty Images
Credit: dottedhippo / iStock via Getty Images

You might want to table your plans for Valentine’s Day 2046 because an asteroid the size of an Olympic swimming pool could be headed Earth’s way.

The asteroid, known as 2023 DW, was first discovered on February 26 and is now at the top of the European Space Agency's (ESA) Risk List, with a projected collision date of February 14, 2046. But don’t worry just yet because, according to NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office, there’s a “very small” risk of it actually hitting Earth. The ESA estimates the odds are approx 1 in 607.

NASA has given 2023 DW a 1 on the Torino Scale, a tool used to rate space objects’ risk of colliding with Earth. According to the scale, this ranking means that “the chance of collision is extremely unlikely with no cause for public attention or public concern.”

Astronomer Piero Sicoli created a map to calculate where the asteroid might land should it collide with Earth. He predicts that 2023 DW could fall somewhere between the Indian Ocean and the East Coast of the U.S.

“Often when new objects are first discovered, it takes several weeks of data to reduce the uncertainties and adequately predict their orbits years into the future,” NASA Asteroid Watch tweeted. “Orbit analysts will continue to monitor asteroid 2023 DW and update predictions as more data comes in.”