Tabloids have always had great freedom with headlines but part of the current coverage of the asteroid called the 2018 LF16 really takes things to the next level. The near-earth stone has been the subject of many headlines using NASA’s assessment that there are 62 potential “risk lanes” that can put it on a collision course with the Earth sometime between 2023 and 2117. However, when looking at the hard data, one considers much less concerned image.
The asteroid is quite large, with an estimated diameter of over 200 meters, and if it really hit our planet it would be a bad day for the planet. The good news is that there is virtually no chance that such a thing will actually happen.
The real scathing in the current coverage of the asteroid is the 62 potential paths that NASA has drawn that would put it on a course to influence the Earth. I mean that 62 sounds like a whole bunch when you do not have anything to compare it with, but keep calm with the knowledge that the odds are definitely not in the asteroid’s favor.
NASA’s models show that the actual odds of the mountain affect the Earth are 1
to 30,000,000. It is 30 million . In fact, the odds are so low that those who track asteroid threats have given the 2018 LF16 a threat of 0/10. The zero value is defined as “The probability of a collision is zero or so low that it is effective zero.” A score of 5/10 is where astronomers believe an object is “threatening” and “some collisions” begin with a rating of 8/10.
Now that we have the odds handled let’s talk about the mountain itself. 2018 LF16 is enormous compared to most spacecraft in the forest’s neck, and while it would not necessarily be a “planet robber” it would definitely be a danger to anyone in the area. Its power would correspond to the most destructive nuclear weapons created by humanity.
It’s so unlikely that it’s not even worth worrying about, but knowing what’s going on in our solar system is always interesting.