last week, Earth has been hit by a close call with a hidden asteroid, the size of a 20-story buildingwhich bypassed our planet at a distance of a quarter of the gap between the Earth and the Moon.
suddenly , Astronomers didn’t realize it existed until two days after the close encounter.
aka 2023 NT1This space rock is about 200 feet in diameter and made its flyby on July 13, traveling at an astonishing 53,000 miles per hour. According to NASA.
but, The approach of the asteroid was not detected due to its path from the direction of the suncausing telescopes to be hampered by sun glare until after the event.
Asteroid 2023 NT1 was discovered on July 15th When a telescope in South Africa, part of the Asteroid Collision Last Alert System (ATLAS), designed to spot asteroids days or weeks before a possible collision, finally detected the object as it was leaving our vicinity.
Since then, more than a dozen other telescopes have confirmed its existence, as reported by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center.
Fortunately, astronomers According to Live ScienceHe confirmed that the asteroid 2023 NT1, despite its sudden approach, It is not considered a potentially dangerous object. Extensive accounts of its trajectory for the next decade provided confirmation that there was no immediate danger of impact.
Recent research indicates that Earth is safe from large extinction asteroids for at least the next 1,000 years.
However, this incident has highlighted the continuing challenges astronomers face in spotting near-Earth asteroids that approach the direction of the sun, creating a significant blind spot in their observational efforts.
A notable historical example occurred in 2013 when a 59-foot asteroid took a similar path through the sun’s glare and went unnoticed until it exploded in the sky over Chelyabinsk, Russia.
The explosion caused a powerful shock wave that destroyed many buildings and shattered glass over a wide area, resulting in nearly 1,500 injuries but fortunately no deaths.
While scientists diligently monitor more than 31,000 known near-Earth asteroids, they remain keenly aware of the dangers posed by the solar blind spot.
As a preemptive measure, the European Space Agency is actively developing the NEOMARE mission, which is scheduled to be launched in 2030. This innovative satellite will position itself between the Earth and the Sun, with the aim of Identifying large asteroids lurking unseen in the glow of our bright star.
The study of asteroids predicts that Earth will be safe for another 1,000 years
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An asteroid the size of a skyscraper will pass between Earth and the Moon this weekend
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