Mega asteroid ‘could come dangerously close with Earth in 2052’, say experts
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A frightening crash between an asteroid and Earth has been ruled out following earlier fears that the mega rock would hit our planet – but it will come very close.
The welcomed news arrived just before worldwide Asteroid Day, with the European Space Agency confirming that a collision will not take place on April 2, 2052.
The threatening asteroid had been at the top of global risk lists for months as concerns mounted about its potential impact.
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But the European Space Agency ( ESA) has confirmed they have removed ‘2021 QM1’ from their list after they joined forces with the European Southern Observatory.
They used one of the most sensitive telescopes in the world to determine the false risk, with experts later announcing that it will no longer strike.
The mount Lemmon observatory, located in Arizona, first discovered the rock on August 28, 2021.
“These early observations gave us more information about the asteroid’s path, which we then projected into the future,” said Richard Moissl, ESA’s Head of Planetary Defence.
“We could see its future paths around the Sun, and in 2052 it could come dangerously close to Earth. The more the asteroid was observed, the greater that risk became.”
Astronomer Marco Micheli said they "had to wait" until 2021 QM1 passed out of the Sun's glare for them to see what could be, reports ESA.
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The team prepared the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) and had a "brief window" to detect the "risky asteroid."
"Our small, faint, receding asteroid would have to be found against a backdrop of thousands of stars," said astronomer Olivier Hainaut.
"These would turn out to be some of the trickiest asteroid observations we have ever made."
Fortunately, they eventually managed to detect 2021 QM1 and found that it would not impact earth in 2052.
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