Earth Just Got Saved From An Asteroid

Earth Just Got Saved From An Asteroid

Scientists called it the "city killer", a 427-foot-wide asteroid which came too close to Earth even than the moon, this week. It was only first seen a couple of days ago and was only confirmed to be an asteroid in the past day.

At that point, he looked into the subtleties of the hunk of room shake named Asteroid 2019 OK. "It is a pretty big deal", Associate Professor Michael Brown of Monash University's school of physics and astronomy informed the Sydney Morning Herald.

Despite the asteroid's near-collision approach, astronomers noted that they had no idea of 2019 OK's presence before it crossed Earth's orbital path. Astronomer Mike Brown from Melbourne, Australia said that he and his colleagues only became aware of the asteroid after it passed by Earth.

"The lack of warning shows how quickly potentially unsafe asteroids can sneak up on us", Brown wrote. And though this asteroid "is not a threat to Earth right now", other such near-Earth asteroids can be.

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For an instance, in 2013, a meteor snuck up on us & exploded over the city of Chelyabinsk, Russia; that blast was stronger than a nuclear explosion, and the subsequent shock wave shattered glass down below & injured over 1,000 people.

Analysis teams in Brazil and the USA only observed 2019 OK about a weeks earlier than it passed, long after the time wanted to do something to deflect or destroy it if Earth was in its path.

Both the Chelyabinsk meteor and 2019 OK snuck past astronomers' devices and paid surprise visits. But a couple of days prior, it was 1,000 times fainter and was more hard to spot. It appears as though it came "out of nowhere", told an astronomer to the Washington Post. Earth itself is just over 7,900 miles in diameter.

2019 OK and other near-Earth asteroids do pose a real risk, astronomers argue, citing the Tunguska explosion in 1908 and the Chelyabinsk meteor in 2013 in Russian Federation, both of which were equal to large nuclear explosions that could have led to irreparable damage and fatalities had they occurred in densely-populated areas. Rather than destruction of the asteroid, which might cause it to break into multiple destructive asteroids, the solution might be a "gentle nudge rather than a vicious kick" away from our fragile planet.

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