An asteroid can hit us at any time without warning. As NASA emails show, the space agency does not always know.
In late July, the Earth has approached a large asteroid at high speed. Although he missed us, he was discovered shortly before he passed our planet. One asteroid impact would hardly have been averted if the Brocken had taken a fatal course. Of particular concern, however, is the fact that, according to recent reports, even NASA appeared to be completely unaware.
Asteroid: Impact on Earth by sneaking up
If you believe the expert Kris Stanek, who regularly scans the sky for objects for Ohio State University's ASAS-SN (All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernova) group, then the asteroid 2019 OK "sneaked up on us". How frighteningly few experts have noticed it, allegedly show internal emails from NASA, which should now have appeared. In it, the object is referred to as "the largest asteroid that has moved so close to Earth in the last century".
The fact that the asteroid could almost sneak up close to the impact was partly due to his career – he steered directly towards us from the sun and was thus difficult to recognize. Speaking to The World, Stanek further stated that it was also because a smaller telescope was used than those that usually lead to discoveries of such asteroids.
So dangerous was the asteroid for the earth
NASA emails have asked Paul Chodas, head of the NASA Center for Near-Earth Studies, the agency why the asteroid was not discovered during NASA's responsible investigations. Also, the question of whether the asteroid would have gone undetected, if not finally a Brazilian observatory had located him, came up.
According to a NASA statement, the impact of an impact on the asteroid, such as an explosion in the atmosphere, would have resulted in local destruction within a radius of some 80 kilometers due to the blast wave. The object should have been at least 100 meters in diameter. If the asteroid impact had occurred in the ocean, it would have swallowed at least the greatest forces of impact. A tsunami, such as an asteroid strike in 2029 could trigger, would not have occurred.
Asteroids can wipe out entire city
However, NASA and other experts did not necessarily see the event as a wake-up call, but as an incentive to look even harder to counteract an asteroid strike in an emergency. After all, the particularly large objects have been known for years, starting with the first, which was discovered in the 1800s.
How different such a scenario can look like has already been tested by NASA and ESA. In a simulated scenario, an asteroid impact destroyed New York. Exercises of this kind are necessary, because the earth faces again and again asteroids, which could potentially lead to impacts. It is also absolutely possible for asteroids to meet us without warning. Not only the recent incident surrounding the ignorance of NASA shows.
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