Asteroid 2006 QV89 was discovered in August 2006 and it was determined it had a one in 7,000 chance of colliding with Earth in September 2019. Then, it vanished for 13 years. Now, the rock has finally been located and the good news is that it will not impact the Earth within the next century.

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Here come the clickbaity articles about “THE ASTEROID THAT GOT LOST AND ALMOST KILLS US ALL”…

methane_droplet

Seeing how this sub is becoming a place to share links to useless articles makes me really sad…

gregorio02

After two minutes of research, I learned that 2006 QV89 was observed for only 11 days in 2006 when it was within a few million km of Earth. Such a short discovery arc implies two things: * 2006 QV89 is quite small, if not tiny. * 2006 QV89’s initial orbit determination contained huge uncertainty. 2006 QV89 *is* quite small, at an estimated diameter of only 30 m. And it’s originally predicted return in 2019 had and nominal closest approach to Earth of 7.5 million km with a 3σ uncertainty of 10 million km. At 30 m, it is comparable to the Chelyabinsk bolide of 2013, and could some day result in a locally damaging airburst if it entered the atmosphere over land (unlikely). It is far smaller than the object responsible for the Tunguska event of 1908. 2006 QV89 is no planet killer. It’s not even a city killer.

the_fungible_man