The space rock was first discovered in 2006, hence its classification before scientists lost track of its position. BGR reported at the time astronomers could not rule the chances of collision as soon as 2019. David Tholen pf the University of Hawaii’s Institute for Astronomy was part of the team looking at attempting to rediscover the asteroid.
Mr Tholen said in a statement: “There is a big difference between knowing where a hazardous asteroid isn’t, and knowing where it is.
“Our highest priority target for Saturday night was the best 2006 QV89 candidate, and despite some thin cirrus clouds and a lot of moonlight, we needed only four minutes of data to obtain proof that we had found the right object.”
Scientists were able to map out the orbit of the space rock.
If their calculations are correct, 2006 QV89 will pose not threat to Earth for at least a century.
By this point, NASA will have tested the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART).
DART will seek to redirect asteroids away from Earth’s orbit.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX has won a contract to help develop the system.
2006 QV89 is classed as an Apollo asteroid.
These are asteroids that cross Earth with an orbital semi-major axis greater than our planets but also possessing perihelion distances less than Earth’s aphelion distance.
They are called Apollo asteroids after 1862 Apollo, the first of their kind to be discovered.
1862 Apollo was discovered by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth in the 1930s.
The largest such asteroid, 1866 Sisyphus, was discovered in 1972 by Swiss astronomer Paul Wild and is nearly 23,000feet in kilometre.