A giant ‘city-killer’ asteroid that just whizzed past earth seemingly appeared “out of nowhere” has stunned astronomers after only being discovered last week, days before it flew within around 45,000 miles from earth – or less than 20% of the distance to the moon, according to the Washington Post.
“I was stunned,” said Alan Duffy – lead scientist at the Royal Institution of Australia. “This was a true shock.”
This asteroid wasn’t one that scientists had been tracking, and it had seemingly appeared from “out of nowhere,” Michael Brown, a Melbourne-based observational astronomer, told The Washington Post. According to data from NASA, the craggy rock was large, an estimated 57 to 130 meters wide (187 to 427 feet), and moving fast along a path that brought it within about 73,000 kilometers (45,000 miles) of Earth. That’s less than one-fifth of the distance to the moon and what Duffy considers “uncomfortably close.” –Washington Post
“It snuck up on us pretty quickly,” said Michael Brown, an associate professor at Australia’s Monash University School of Physics and Astronomy, adding later “People are only sort of realizing what happened pretty much after it’s already flung past us.”
This is the video of the close encounter of Asteroid 2019 OK we have been Twitting all day with the Earth: https://watchers.news/2019/07/24/asteroid-2019-ok/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter …
The asteroid was discovered by separate astronomy teams in the United States and Brazil – while information on the ‘city-killer’ was announced only hours before it shot past Earth.
“It shook me out my morning complacency,” said Brown. “It’s probably the largest asteroid to pass this close to Earth in quite a number of years.”
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