NASA warned that it has identified five potential impact dates from an asteroid with an Earth-crossing orbit. If this asteroid ends up on a collision course with the planet, it could penetrate Earth’s atmosphere and cause an impact event.

The dangerous asteroid has been identified as 2005 ED224. It was detected by NASA’s Sentry, which is an automated monitoring system that keeps track of asteroids with non-zero impact probabilities.

According to NASA, 2005 ED224 is an Apollo asteroid. Like other asteroids that belong to this group, 2005 ED224 has a very wide orbit that takes it around the Earth and the Sun. From time to time, the asteroid’s orbit intersects with that of Earth as the planet completes its cycle around the giant star.

Sentry’s data revealed that the asteroid has an estimated diameter of about 177 feet and travels at an average speed of almost 56,000 miles per hour.

Usually, asteroids of this size burn up and break apart upon entering Earth’s atmosphere. However, due to its speed, there’s a chance that the asteroid might be able to penetrate the atmosphere. If this happens, the asteroid could cause a minor impact event on Earth. An impact caused by 2005 ED224 could create a crater that’s less than half a mile wide.

According to Sentry’s data, the asteroid could cause five potential Earth impacts between 2023 and 2064. NASA noted that in the first year, the asteroid might hit Earth on March 11.

Aside from NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) is also monitoring 2005 ED224 through its Risk List, which catalogs asteroids that are in danger of colliding with Earth. According to the ESA, the asteroid’s chances of hitting Earth in 2023 are 1 in 568,000.

Although the odds of 2005 ED224 colliding with Earth in the near future are pretty slim, both NASA and ESA are still keeping a close eye on the asteroid. After all, there are several factors in space that can affect an asteroid’s trajectory.

One of them is a gravitational keyhole. This is a particular region in space that’s heavily affected by the gravitational pull of a nearby planet. If 2005 ED224 passes through a keyhole, the gravitational forces could nudge the asteroid into a collision course with Earth.

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