Astronomers ruled out the possibility of the Earth colliding with an asteroid in September

Asteroid 2006 QV89 was discovered 13 years ago, in the summer of 2006, when it got close to Earth at a distance of several million kilometers. Observations made it possible to calculate the trajectory of its flight and showed that 2006 QV89 belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids, which occasionally intersect the Earth’s orbit from the outside. Then it turned out that on September 9, 2019, he should approach the planet again, and the chances of a collision were estimated, according to various sources, as 1 out of 7300 or even 9100.

It should be said that 2006 QV89 is not too large, its dimensions are from 20 to 50 meters, so even in the event of a strike it is not worth waiting for a global catastrophe. It can cause serious damage only locally – and then in the event of a fall on densely populated terrain, as happened with a 20-meter-long Chelyabinsk meteorite. Nevertheless, European astronomers are closely watching the approach of 2006 QV89 and on July 4-5 made new observations with the help of the VLT telescope located in Chile. This is reported in a press release distributed by the ESA.


In its own way, a unique astronomical photograph shows the absence of an object of interest to scientists – the asteroid 2006 QV89 / © O. Hainaut, ESO, ESA

So far, because of the large distance and small size, it is impossible to notice an asteroid just by looking at the sky. Therefore, scientists have focused on certain narrow areas where, according to various calculations, 2006 QV89 may be at the moment. According to them, the VLT resolution would allow to see much smaller objects here, but no traces were found. All this allowed scientists to reconsider the future trajectory of the asteroid and completely deprive it of any chance of a collision with the Earth.