A huge asteroid with the power to wipe out an entire city just narrowly missed the Earth, and astronomers had no idea until hours before.
Yep, you read that right.
Asteroid 2019 OK, which measures 100 metres in diameter, was travelling at a whopping 24 kilometres per SECOND missed us at about 11.22am yesterday morning. Put simply, that’s as fast as the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs. Very fast.
The space rock was a measly 70,000km away from us at its closest point. I know that sounds like a big number but that’s closer than the moon, which is a TERRIFYING thought.
I know, I know, it DIDN’T hit us. Everything is fine. Nobody died.
But astronomers nearly missed this one.
2019 OK (which is what astronomers have named him) came hurtling through space from the direction of the sun, which means astronomers couldn’t see it until it was only a few days away from potentially killing us all.
The potentially life-ruining rock was only picked up by telescopes three days ago, and only confirmed to be an asteroid 24 hours ago.
“It’s impressively close. I don’t think it’s quite sunk in yet. It’s a pretty big deal,” Monash University’s Prof. Michael Brown said.
Basically, experts reckon the asteroid would hit with 30 times the power of the Hiroshima atomic bomb. File that under “nope”.
“It’s threading tightly between the lunar orbit. Definitely too close for comfort,” Professor Alan Duffy from Swinburne University says. I agree, Alan, way too close for comfort.
You can freak out over this video of how close the asteroid actually was:
After reading a bunch of expert opinions on this and totally freaking out about the possibility of getting wiped out by an asteroid, I have decided that space is just one big NOPE.