Imagine minding your own business, getting some boba at Xing Fu Tang and suddenly you’re obliterated by an asteroid with 30 times the energy of the atomic blast at Hiroshima… That sounds like a horrible untimely death but a great entry for a real-life version of the Final Destination series, doesn’t it?
Dubbed by scientists and astronomers as the ‘city killer’ asteroid or ‘Asteroid 2019 OK’, this huge bugger came hurtling towards Earth and managed to whizz past us by an uncomfortably small proximity. Take a look at just how close in the attached video below.
— ASAS-SN (@SuperASASSN) July 25, 2019
Information about the 57-130 meters wide rock was only discovered after astronomers from Brazil and the U.S were alerted of its presence moments after it flew past us. Michael Brown, an associate professor in Australia with Monash University’s School of Physics and Astronomy said,
“It shook me out my morning complacency. It’s probably the largest asteroid to pass this close to Earth in quite a number of years.”
I know you’re probably imagining your life coming to an end in bursts of explosions and screaming like that one scene from the movie Dinosaur (2000), but I’m here to tell you that that isn’t the case with the ‘Asteroid 2019 OK’. All bark with no bite, this asteroid, according to NASA, could have caused major damage if it had landed on a populated area, but the probability of this outcome was statistically unlikely. You can breathe that sigh of relief now…
Despite the innocuous nature of this particular asteroid, the danger still remains for other asteroids floating in space. Alan Duffy, lead scientist at the Royal Institution of Australia, urged astronomers and citizens to take notice of ramifications of an asteroid collision with Earth. He said,
“It should worry us all, quite frankly. It’s not a Hollywood movie. It is a clear and present danger.”
This incident has proven the importance of sufficient resources toward the detection and prevention of dangerous asteroids. As of now, scientists are working on perfecting their approach for when an asteroid is pummelling towards us. The two current strategies are to gently push the asteroid slowly over time off its course and away from Earth, Captain Marvel style…
The other is by using a gravity tractor which is essentially a spacecraft.
Contrary to popular demand, blasting asteroids with nukes only looks great in films, but in reality, they’re a horribly impractical decision since it could turn the asteroid radioactive. We definitely don’t want another Chernobyl on our hands… especially not after the terrifying HBO miniseries.
With that said, this close encounter with a devastating asteroid is motivation for you to live your life to the fullest because you’ll never know when you might be annihilated into nothingness. Godspeed!
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