The asteroid wouldn’t precisely be a “planet killer” even when it did strike Earth. Upper ranges of its estimated size put it at just over 160 feet across, so it could likely do some severe injury if it exploded within the skies above a populated area.
Nevertheless, it’s not the kind of doomsday asteroid that we think about from science fiction flicks.
“While we have no idea 2006 QV89’s trajectory exactly, we do know where it could appear within the sky if it were on a collision course with our planet,” ESA explains. “Due to this fact, we will simply observe this small area of the sky to check that the asteroid is certainly, hopefully, not there.”
The researchers did exactly that and noticed that the asteroid was certainly not on the potentially dangerous course that might make it a threat for us on Earth.
“Even when the asteroid had been smaller than anticipated, at only some meters across, it could have been seen within the picture,” ESA says.
“Any smaller than this and the VLT couldn’t have spotted it, however, it could even be considered harmless as any asteroid this size would burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.”