An Asteroid Barely Skimmed Past The Earth Last Week – And We Didn’t Even Notice It


NASA, you had one job…

Last week, an asteroid about the size of a refrigerator shot past Earth and astronomers were not even aware of its existence until hours after the object was gone. Luckily it didn’t pose any danger to our planet and even if it did, it would have destroyed us all by now since, well, we didn’t even know it existed in the first place.

On October 24th, the space rock’s trajectory carried it over Antarctica within 1800 miles of Earth which is a pretty close call (from a cosmic perspective) and even closer than some of the satellites up in space. This is the third closest asteroid to approach our planet without actually hitting it *Phew*

According to CNET, scientists had been unaware of the asteroid which is now dubbed as Asteroid 2021 UA1 as it approached Earth’s daytime side from the direction of the Sun so the dim and small visitor compared to the brightness of the Sun went undetected until after four hours had passed.

Asteroid 2021 UA1 only had a diameter of 6.6 feet (2 meters) so it was too small to pose any actual threat in the first place. Even if it had struck Earth, most of its rocky body would have burned away in the atmosphere before it could even reach the ground. That’s a relief.

According to NASA, an object has to measure at least 460 feet (140 meters) in diameter to be actually considered dangerous. UA1 did not fulfill that criteria but who knows if there are bigger asteroids like that headed our way in the future? This is why NASA is investigating different defensive technologies for protecting Earth from possible collisions which include the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART). DART is scheduled to launch on November 24th 2021 so we hope we can last till then…


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