NASA not worried about Sept 1 asteroid approach, ESA worried about Sept 22 date

Late-September asteroid close approach is concerning to agency, ESA data reveals

The National Aeronautics Space Administration made it clear that planetary defense experts believe that asteroid 2011 ES4 will pass safely by Earth on September 1 but sources from within the European Space Agency have confirmed that another inbound object poses a risk of air-bursting or impacting with the planet on September 22.

NASA Tweeted on Friday: “Will #asteroid 2011 ES4 hit Earth? No! 2011 ES4’s close approach is ‘close’ on an astronomical scale but poses no danger of actually hitting Earth. #PlanetaryDefense experts expect it to safely pass by at least 45,000 miles (792,000 football fields) away on Tuesday, Sept. 1.”

However, according to the ESA, the real threat is a 131-foot-wide chunk of compacted space debris dubbed 2018 SV13 which the agency says could airburst somewhere inside Earth’s atmosphere during its close approach but said the likelihood of this happening would be about 1 in 3.6 million.

ESA data shows 2018 SV13 is traveling at a speed of about 44,000 miles per hour and will be headed inbound on September 22 with a “non-zero” chance of impacting. (i.e. the ESA thinks there is a possibility the asteroid may hit)

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