Scientists discovered the existence of a large asteroid just two days after it passed near our planet.
The inhabitants of the Earth were very lucky that a planet 60 meters wide flew near the planet and did not collide with it. The truth is, it was at a very close distance to us, but its existence was not known until just two days after the asteroid actually made its critical approach, he writes. Forbes.
in focus. Technology appeared on its own Telegram channel. Sign up to never miss the latest and most exciting news from the world of science!
Scientists first observed the asteroid, called 2023 NT1, on Saturday, July 15th. But it turns out that on Thursday, July 13, this 60-meter-wide space rock was 96,000 kilometers from Earth. This is very close by space standards because it is about 4 times closer than the Moon.
Previously, it was difficult to see this asteroid, because it was approaching Earth from the side of the Sun, like the famous Chelyabinsk meteorite, which exploded over a Russian city 10 years ago and was also not seen before entering the planet’s atmosphere.
If the Chelyabinsk meteorite was 20 meters wide and still led to the fact that after the explosion many buildings were damaged and people were injured, then if the asteroid 2023 NT1 had exploded somewhere, the destruction would have been much greater.
This indicates that the planetary protection of the Earth is not perfect and that additional methods of protection are needed, or at least new ways of monitoring near-Earth asteroids, which are constantly flying close to Earth.
Now it is known that NASA is planning to send a near-Earth Object surveyor into space, and the European Space Agency Neumeir, which will help better detect asteroids that are potentially dangerous for our planet. But those devices are going to be blasted into space at the end of this decade — early in the next.
To understand what could lead to a direct impact of an object the size of 2023 NT1, you need to go back 50 thousand years ago, when a slightly smaller asteroid hit the planet and formed the famous meteorite crater in the state of Arizona, USA.
It is impossible to know how much damage the asteroid impact caused, but the asteroid itself is believed to have evaporated instantly, leaving behind some rare minerals that can only be created by extreme pressure effects such as lightning or a nuclear blast.
Scientists believe that about a million asteroids with a width of 30 to 100 meters fly near Earth, and 98.9% of them have not yet been discovered. The vast majority of these asteroids are far from Earth most of the time, but sometimes they come close to all of them. And sometimes very close, as was the case with the 2023 NT1. Scientists discover new near-Earth asteroids almost every week, but 2023 NT1 is one of the biggest this year.
to focus It was previously written that NASA canceled the asteroid study mission, which cost $50 million.
“Hardcore beer fanatic. Falls down a lot. Professional coffee fan. Music ninja.”