Asteroid 1950 DA – The most dangerous asteroid in our Solar System detected so far.
The Earth has had it’s share of close misses in recent times, and certainly we all know our planets past has had cataclysmic encounters with large asteroids, the most famous being the one that wiped out the dinosaurs.
A mass extinction event so powerful that it reset the animal kingdom and gave mammals a chance to rise to dominance.
Asteroid 1950 DA - The Most Dangerous Asteroid in our Solar System
Currently, Asteroid 1950 DA has one of the highest probabilities to hit the Earth, which combined with its very large mass and elliptic orbit make it the most dangerous known asteroid in our solar system.
Unfortunately, our efforts to detect such bodies in the darkness of the void are still at their infancy and we have a long way to go before we can be confident we know all the hazards that are currently orbiting the sun on their way to meet us.
So what makes 1950 DA the most dangerous Asteroid in our solar system currently and what would be the consequences of an impact?
With a mass of around 2 billion tonnes, a size of 1.1 km across and a very high velocity, it would be incredibly devastating to our species if Asteroid 1950 DA did impact the Earth. A direct impact would likely wipe us and most of the other species from the face of the Earth.
With an impact zone of around 500km, it would destroy everything instantly within a much larger area if it hit land.
If it falls into the ocean, it would create a giant tsunami that would reach all around the world causing a massive death toll.
However it is the nuclear winter which would follow for many years that would cause a a similar situation to the one faced by the dinosaurs.
Ash in the atmosphere would add to further colder periods and our only hope of survival would be to head underground. How well we could achieve this would probably depend on how early we began preparing.
The good news is, as a species we are at a point in our ingenuity, science and technology that we may now be able to start improving our chances for survival.
Rather than just watch as an asteroid approaches Earth we can both prepare to survive an impact and also potentially mitigate the hazard by adjusting its trajectory to miss the Earth altogether.
The real problem is that we need to detect the impact very early so we can prepare ahead of time. Our response time is slow, we need to work together, build a mission, plan a solution, and carry it out before the asteroid gets too close.
Any adjustment we make to such a large celestial body that is travelling at such speeds is relatively small, so we must make the changes early for them to have enough effect over time to change the trajectory sufficiently.
Additionally, we need to make changes that don’t cause us issues in the future, as these bodies circle the sun, we don’t want to put them into a more dangerous path for the Earth in the future.
The real problem is that we are only aware of a small percentage of the bodies in our solar system currently, we are only tracking a small percentage of those and there are objects that are headed our way from outside of our solar system.
Currently we are reducing our potential to see into the darkness with light pollution from our vast cities across the globe, and we are putting up legions of satellites such as the Starlink program which reflects sunlight and obscures our views.
As a species, we have the ability to live an almost infinite period, but we pollute the only known habitable planet we have ever found, we squabble, fight, poison our own environment and barely work together on small scale projects.
We are going to have to start to think bigger, longer term and unite, if we want to truly make an impact on the Universe, or we are doomed, like the dinosaur, to have a very small footnote, on an isolated pin prick in the cosmic void.
We can do better, we can be better. Together. Maybe we just need something like Asteroid 1950 DA to prove it, because the alternative is, for us, that’s the end.
Mathematically, it is a certainty that at some point in the Earths future, an Asteroid large enough to wipe us out will impact the Earth. It’s a matter of when, not if it will happen.