Romain Rouillard 16:56 pm, March 24, 2023

The European Space Agency announced this week that an asteroid, whose size could reach the size of a football field, is preparing to pass between the Earth and the Moon on Saturday around 20:50, French time. Fortunately, the risk of a collision with our planet is completely excluded.

The Earth and the Moon will have visits this weekend. According to the European Space Agency, the blue planet and its satellite will see an asteroid measuring between 40 and 100 meters in diameter pass this Saturday at 20:50 French time. Dubbed #2023DZ2 or, more simply, "City killer" by ESA, this rocky body will pass about 168,000 km from the surface of the Earth and will therefore pose no danger to our planet. Fortunately, to the extent that its large size would have allowed it to disintegrate in case of contact with our atmosphere and thus cause a lot of material and human damage.


READ ALSO – Space: for Sophie Adenot, "the profession of astronaut has no gender"

"#2023DZ2 was discovered about three weeks ago; it poses no risk to Earth, but it will be interesting to observe!" says ESA France on Twitter. The asteroid moves at a speed of 37 km per second according to the spatial organization which specifies that a simple telescope could make it possible to observe it. "Although approaches are common, an approach by an asteroid of this size occurs only about once a decade, providing a unique opportunity for science," added NASA, the US space agency.

Next Saturday, an asteroid measuring 40-100 meters will pass less than half the Earth-Moon distance. #2023DZ2 was discovered about 3 weeks ago; it poses no risk to Earth, but it will be interesting to watch!

— ESA France (@ESA_fr) March 21, 2023

Towards a return in 2026?

Its observation will provide an opportunity to gather valuable information on good practices to follow in the event of a potential asteroid threat. According to ESA forecasts, "City killer" could get closer to Earth again in April 2026, without hitting it. "At first, we had a small risk of impact but other observations have ruled out this hypothesis," says ESA.

On Saturday, a 40-100 meter #asteroid will fly by Earth at less than half the distance of the Moon #2023DZ2 was discovered ~3 weeks ago. At first, it showed a small risk of #EarthImpact in 2026 but further observations have ruled this out

— ESA Operations (@esaoperations) March 21, 2023

Earlier this week, NASA issued a warning about the asteroid named "2023 DW". Initial analyses indicated a possible collision with the Earth in February 2046. However, this scenario is far from being confirmed, as the calculations still need to be largely adjusted. And in the event that it were to materialize, NASA thinks it will be able to deflect it, like the feat achieved by the probe "Dart" last September which had managed to deflect the trajectory of an asteroid. A first in history.