July 25th marked the day the Earth was in real danger due to the imminent approach of an undetected asteroid that was about the size of an airplane.
Dubbed “2019 OK,” the asteroid got around the Earth at a distance of about 73.000 km, nearly a quarter of the distance that separates the Earth from Moon. The scientists estimated to be around 57 to 130 meters wide an that the if it would have hit Earth, a great catastrophe would have fallen upon humankind.
Melbourne-based observational astronomer and associate professor at Monash University stated: “It snuck up on us pretty quickly. People are the only sort of realizing what happened pretty much after it’s already flung past us.”
Sneaky Asteroid “2019 OK”
We know that NASA keeps tight surveillance to extraterrestrial threats, but the question is, how did this asteroid go unnoticed? Apparently, the space rock has been observed by a team of scientists in Brazil and then in the US, only to be later confirmed by NASA. The information about this close encounter has been published only hours before it whizzed past our planet.
The only possible reason for it not being noticed might be the size it had, being hard to trace, and the speed it was having, at no more than 24 km per second. The “2019 OK” asteroid also had a lengthy orbit that stretched from Venus to Mars, meaning that it was not in Earth’s vicinity for an extended time, possibly evading NASA’s identification.
Even if the size of the rock were not that big, it would have created a catastrophe were it to hit Earth. The scientists estimated that it would have wiped out a whole city, and the damage would have been 30 times over that done at Hiroshima. “It would have hit with over 30 times the energy of the atomic blast at Hiroshima,” scientists said.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.