ESA warms up for Asteroid Day, with the riskiest asteroid known to humankindESA warms up for Asteroid Day, with the riskiest asteroid known to humankind https://asteroidday-uploads.s3.eu-central-1.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/29190035/headshots-21.png 480 270 Asteroid Day https://asteroidday-uploads.s3.eu-central-1.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/29190035/headshots-21.png
There’s a 50-metre asteroid out there that’s lingering at the top of risk lists around the globe. Initial observations showed 2021 QM1 had a chance of striking Earth in 2052, and frustratingly, follow-up observations soon became impossible. Not only was it outshone by the Sun at a pivotal moment, but QM1 has been receding from view as it moves further away in its current orbit.
ESA’s Near-Earth Object Coordination Centre have made finding and assessing the risk from 2021 QM1 a top priority, and this June they had a chance to capture the risky asteroid as it edged away from the brilliant Sun. Now extremely faint in the sky, it would take one of the best telescopes in the world to spot it, and if they do, it will be the faintest asteroid ever detected. Did the team find our asteroid? Will it, one day, find us?
Watch ESA’s Asteroid Day celebrations on June 30th at 10:30 AM CEST | 8:30 AM UTC on our Watch page!