KEY POINTS

  • The ESA included a new asteroid to its Risk List
  • The asteroid measures over 2,300 feet
  • The asteroid’s chances of hitting Earth are one in 38,000

The European Space Agency (ESA) has detected a new massive asteroid that has a non-zero probability of impacting Earth. Due to the threat of an impact from the asteroid, the ESA included the near-Earth object in its Risk List.

The Risk List is ESA’s online catalog that features space rocks that have non-zero impact probability. This means that all asteroids featured in this list are in danger of colliding with Earth.

ESA describes its Risk List as "a catalogue of all objects for which a non-zero impact probability has been detected. Each entry contains details on the Earth approach posing the highest risk of impact."

The latest addition to ESA’s Risk List is an asteroid known as 2020 BW19. According to the ESA, the asteroid was only added to the list nine days ago as of this writing.

2020 BW19 is a massive asteroid that has an estimated diameter of 2,329 feet. According to the ESA, 2020 BW19 is an Apollo asteroid, which means it follows a natural orbit that intersects Earth’s path around the Sun.

As indicated in the Risk List, 2020 BW19 has a non-zero chance of colliding with Earth in the near future. Based on the asteroid’s trajectory, a collision with Earth could happen on Oct. 14, 2046. According to the ESA, the asteroid’s chances of hitting Earth are one in 38,000.

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