Asteroids fly above our planet Earth quite regularly, and scientists are usually not only aware, but even predicting the dates and times when a particular asteroid will swing back to Earth.
However, an asteroid flew over Earth and astronomers didn’t realize it until a few days later!
Dubbed 2020 LD and measuring nearly 100 meters in diameter, the asteroid, traveling at a speed of 60,826 miles per hour – moved closer to Earth even closer than the Moon on June 5.
According to the European Space Agency (ESA), the space rock was only 0.8 lunar distance from Earth. So if the moon is 384.317 km from Earth, asteroid 2020 LD is 307.454 km when it flew over.
It was not only the biggest asteroid to pass between Earth and the Moon this year, but the biggest to come so close to Earth since 2011, and also ranked as one of the biggest ever to fly so close. from Earth without having been detected before, according to the Earth Sky website.
In fact, a scientist didn’t discover this near-Earth approach until June 7, when astronomers in Hawaii first noticed 2020 LD traveling at 97,890 km / h (60,826 miles per hour) from the Earth.
The scientist realized that the space rock had its closest approach to Earth just two days before after analyzing its orbit.
Considering its size, if 2020 LD had hit Earth, it could have caused considerable damage. Just to put it in perspective, a space rock that caused the crater to be about 1.2 km wide near Flagstaff, Arizona, was estimated to be about 150 feet (or about 46 meters) in diameter. And this asteroid had struck about 50,000 years ago!
Just a warning, guys!
ESA has identified an asteroid that has a non-zero chance of hitting Earth in September, according to a report on ibtimes.com.
The space agency has predicted that the asteroid, identified as 2018 SV13, has a chance of hitting Earth on September 22. It is currently included in the ESA Hazard List, which is an online catalog of asteroids that have non-zero impact probabilities. This means that all of the asteroids on the list have a chance of hitting Earth in the future.