2020 DM4 – The asteroid that will approach Earth in late April

Hyperaxion Apr 21, 2020

An asteroid with a diameter of 1.5 miles will approach the Earth at the end of April, with no danger of collision with our planet.

The approach of this object, discovered in 1998 by NASA, was already known, and scientists now have more information about this asteroid.

Several agencies around the world have been following this rocky body closely since it was discovered, said Zhao Haibin, an astronomer at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Purple Mountain Observatory, according to the Europa Press.

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The asteroid will approach Earth on April 29, at a speed of 5.39 miles per second. This object is estimated to reach 3.30 million miles above the Earth’s surface – 16.4 times the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

Taking these measures into account, the asteroid, considered potentially dangerous, “has zero chance of hitting Earth when it makes a flyby this time,” explained Zhao.

“Thanks to the collision monitoring work, we are not unaware of asteroid strikes and there is no need to panic,” said Zhao, stressing that scientists can develop methods to defend against asteroid impacts.

Of the two dozen objects listed as potentially dangerous for Earth in the next century, only one – 2018 VP1 – could collide with Earth in 2020, and even for this object, the probabilities of impact are very low.

 Orbits of asteroid 2020 DM4 (green), Venus (white), Earth (blue) and Mars (orange).
Orbits of asteroid 2020 DM4 (green), Venus (white), Earth (blue) and Mars (orange). (Credit: Xinhua/Purple Mountain Observatory).

Although it is very unlikely that an asteroid will hit the Earth in the next few years – the probability is 1 in 300,000, according to NASA – space agencies have been working together to improve programs aimed at tracking and diverting objects on a collision course with Earth.

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