Asteroid Sneaks By Scientists, Skims By Earth
As a firm believer in science, it is a hard pill to swallow that sometimes, things just pop up out of nowhere and are still, in 2019, genuine surprises.
So was the case with Asteroid 2019 OK, the as large as 427 foot chunk of space rock that whizzed by Earth late last week within 45,000 miles of Earth's atmosphere.
In an interview with the Washington Post,astronomer Alan Duffy called this event, "uncomfortably close."
Duffy claims that although the asteroid was remarkably close to Earth's surface, it wasn't remarkable in size.
Still, Duffy refers to the asteroid as what scientists consider a "city killer asteroid."
“It would have gone off like a very large nuclear weapon” with enough force to destroy a city, he the Post. “Many megatons, perhaps in the ballpark of 10 megatons of TNT, so something not to be messed with.”
The speed and trajectory of the asteroid were allegedly what stumped scientists from tracking it's arrival.
None the less, the last-minute detection is yet another sign of how much remains unknown about space and a sobering reminder of the very real threat asteroids can pose, Duffy said.
Whenever unexpected POTENTIAL disasters like this occur, it always makes me wonder, would it actually be better is I knew something was going to happen?
Would you want to know if an asteroid was coming, and there was nothing you could do about it?
Believe it or not, you can track asteroid and other space debris close-calls on NASA's website.