In the coming days, Valentine’s Day will bring more than just romance and gift-giving. There is also news of a potentially hazardous asteroid that could provide an easy excuse to cancel plans on that day. 2024 BR4 was discovered this year, observed at a distance of 12 million kilometers from Earth.
Despite its size, which is estimated to be between 100 and 300 meters, there is still much uncertainty regarding its composition and potential effects on the planet if it were to collide with Earth. However, the asteroid is not expected to come close to our planet for a long time, with its closest approach on Valentine’s Day estimated to be 4.6 million kilometers away, or 12 times the average distance of the Moon.
On a positive note, this flyby will be the closest the asteroid gets to our planet in the next 120 years, providing further assurance that we are safe from this potentially dangerous object for the foreseeable future. The fact that the asteroid went undetected when it passed Earth at 14 lunar distances in 2011 highlights the significant progress that has been made in asteroid surveys in recent years. Despite its potential hazards, the detection of the asteroid has actually demonstrated how far surveys have come in identifying potentially dangerous objects and ensuring the safety of our planet.