Warehouse-sized asteroid sneaks up on Earth by hiding near the sun

Asteroid approaching Earth, artwork

Heads up!


An area rock probably as huge as a soccer subject flew between the moon and Earth final week, however the massive asteroid — catalogued as 2021 SG — wasn’t noticed till the day after it had already made its closest go by our planet.

Whereas asteroid 2021 SG is safely heading again to deeper area, it offers a short second of deja vu for sky watchers who might keep in mind the massive bolide that went unseen till it exploded in 2013 above Chelyabinsk, Russia

That meteor was estimated to be solely about one quarter the diameter of 2021 SG, and but that was massive sufficient to create a shock wave that blew out hundreds of home windows within the metropolis beneath, injuring a whole bunch. Asteroid 2021 SG is just not solely considerably greater, but it surely additionally strikes at a powerful clip of over 53,000 mph (85,295 kph).

2021 SG handed us safely on Sept. 16, however at a comparatively shut distance — astronomically talking — of round 153,000 miles (246,000 km). If it had entered Earth’s ambiance, it possible would have brought on destruction, particularly if it hit close to a populated space. 

The Chelyabinsk meteor and asteroid 2021 SG level out a literal blind spot relating to expecting so-called near-Earth objects: the solar. As NASA solar system ambassador Eddie Irizarry and EarthSky editor-in-chief Deborah Byrd explain, each area rocks went undetected as they approached us as a result of they got here from the route of the solar. 

Astronomers, utilizing massive telescopes, sky surveys and different superior applied sciences, have change into superb at recognizing, cataloging and monitoring all kinds of objects in area, proper right down to tiny items of previous satellites in orbit. However proper now there’s merely no good solution to maintain a watch out for objects — even massive ones — that method us from the route of our favourite ball of fireplace. 

A repair is on the best way, luckily. NASA plans to launch its NEO Surveyor spacecraft in 2026, which will likely be parked at a spot in area between Earth and the solar so it will possibly detect the objects we will not see from right here. 

Within the meantime, we simply must make it by way of the following half decade with out taking in main incoming from the route of our closest star.

https://www.cnet.com/information/warehouse-sized-asteroid-sneaks-up-on-earth-by-hiding-near-the-sun/#ftag=CADf328eec | Warehouse-sized asteroid sneaks up on Earth by hiding close to the solar


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