On July 20th an asteroid that nobody knew about screamed past us. It was pretty close. About 1/3rd the “Earth-Moon” distance. It wasn’t discovered until three days later.
“A space rock now designated as asteroid 2017 OO1 was detected on July 23, 2017 from the ATLAS-MLO telescope at Mauna Loa, Hawaii. An analysis of its trajectory revealed it had been closest to Earth on July 20 sometime between 10:27 p.m. to 11:32 p.m. EDT (between 02:27 to 03:32 UTC on July 21).”
This kind of thing is pretty scary, yeah? I know the chances of getting smoked by a massive life ending rock are pretty slim, but the fact that these things aren’t being detected until it’s too late is the scary part. It’s not like we would have had time to send up Bruce Willis and save the day.
“a fact that stands out is that asteroid 2017 OO1 is about three times as big as the house-sized asteroid that penetrated the skies over Chelyabinsk, Russia in February, 2013, breaking windows in six Russian cities and causing more that 1,000 people to seek treatment for injuries, mostly from flying glass.”
So it turns out this rock nobody saw coming was THREE times bigger than the one that gave us all those awesome dashcam videos out of Russia a while back. They say it wouldn’t have been an extinction level event, but the damage from Chelyabinsk was still pretty terrifying.
Keep your eyes to the sky!
Read more about this rock that just missed us below