NASA’s collision monitoring system has detected an asteroid that can cause over 100 potential impacts on Earth. Based on the asteroid’s size, it will most likely create a huge fireball in the sky if it hits the planet.

The dangerous asteroid has been identified by NASA as 2000 SG344. It was detected by the agency’s monitoring system known as Sentry. According to NASA, Sentry maintains a list of asteroids with non-zero impact probabilities.

“Sentry is a highly automated collision monitoring system that continually scans the most current asteroid catalog for possibilities of future impact with Earth over the next 100 years,” NASA stated.

“Whenever a potential impact is detected it will be analyzed and the results published here, except in unusual cases where we see independent confirmation,” the agency added.

As indicated in Sentry’s database, 2000 SG344 might hit Earth sometime between 2069 and 2113. During this period, the monitoring system has detected a total of 101 potential impact events caused by the asteroid. The chances of these impact events happening are about one in 417.

The possibility of 2000 SG344 hitting Earth is heavily influenced by the asteroid’s orbit. According to NASA, 2000 SG344 is an Aten asteroid, which means it mainly orbits the Sun. Occasionally, the asteroid’s oval-shaped orbit intersects with that of Earth as the planet completes its cycle around the giant star.

If 2000 SG344 ends up on a collision course with the planet, it probably won’t hit the ground due to its small size. With a diameter of about 121 feet, the asteroid will most likely burn up in Earth’s atmosphere and explode mid-air. However, this does not mean that 2000 SG344 is a harmless asteroid.

As past records have shown, airbursts or asteroids that explode in the sky can still be dangerous. For instance, in 2013, an asteroid about 66 feet wide breached Earth’s atmosphere and exploded over a region in Russia.

Although the asteroid didn’t hit the ground, the explosion it caused was powerful enough to damage around 7,000 buildings within the surrounding area. Over 1,500 people were also reportedly injured due to the incident.

Asteroid Impacts A new report indicates that a total of 26 nuclear-level asteroid impacts have hit Earth since 2000. Photo: Donald Davis