Surprise asteroid whizzed by Earth today, and we didn't even blink

27 Juillet, 2019, 01:27 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • Called Asteroid 2019 OK the rock measured between 57m and 130m in diameter Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said on its Center for Near Earth Object Studies

Named Asteroid 2019 OK, the rock measured between 57m and 130m in diameter, Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said on its Centre for Near Earth Object Studies website. According to data from NASA, the craggy rock was large, roughly 110 yards wide, and moving quickly along a path that brought it within about 45,360 miles of Earth. Of the three other rocks, Asteroid 2019 OD was the largest, believed to be between 170 feet and 393 feet across. It was discovered just two days before its close approach to Earth but posed no threat to our planet.

That's incredibly close in astronomical terms, especially for an object we didn't know existed-and one that was big enough to do serious damage.

Though the chances of a large asteroid landing on a city are "modest", Brown said it is still worthwhile to devote resources toward detection and prevention. Did the scene in Avengers: Endgame where Tony Stark thinks he's going to die, lost in space, give me anxiety? Three different asteroids had also passed by Earth last week, but none of them was as impressive or unsafe as 2019 OK.

The asteroid, reassuringly designated 2019 OK, is not a threat to Earth right now.

An asteroid the size of the Great Pyramid skimmed by Earth this week. Forecasts had already predicted that a couple asteroids would be passing relatively close to Earth this week.

"It would have gone off like a very large nuclear weapon" with enough force to destroy a city, said Alan Duffy of the Royal Institution of Australia.

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"Asteroid 2019 OK has a very elliptical orbit, taking it from the asteroid belt beyond Mars to within the orbits of both Earth and Venus". ASAS-SN tweeted that an asteroid of this size "would make quite a mess if it did collide: ~1 km crater, several megatons TNT equivalent at impact".

A NASA diagram shows how close Asteroid 2019 OK came within hitting the Earth today.

The 2013 Chelyabinsk meteor snuck up on us from the direction of the Sun.

Earth almost had a devastating collision with an asteroid travelling at almost 15 miles a second today.

This is the Vesta Asteroid, in a photograph taken in 2011 by the NASA Dawn spacecraft. But in this case, the asteroid approached not from the dark of deep space, but from the Sun.

The US government is stepping up efforts to protect the planet from incoming asteroids that could wipe out entire regions or even continents.

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