Asteroid Narrowly Missed Earth, And No One Noticed

It was spotted three days later

Last week a giant asteroid skimmed the Earth, terrifyingly, no one saw it coming.

The Asteroid Asteroid 2017 001 came 12,3031 kilometres within range of Earth, a third as close as the moon. It flew past on the 20th of July at fairly safe distance, what is scary is that nobody knew about it till July 23rd three days after it passed Earth. The ATLAMLO telescope in Hawaii spotted it. Grigori Richters, the founder of Asteroid Day that seeks to raise awareness about asteroids explains:

Asteroid 2017 OO1 is an important reminder that we need to do a better job at detecting even small-sized asteroids early, small asteroids can cause significant regional damage, and we are the only species that can do something about this cosmic hazard. Just ask the dinosaurs!

We are aware of around 75 percent of asteroids larger than 1 kilometre in the area around Earth capable of causing mass extinction.

The Asteroid didn’t Earth this time, but it should serve as a wake-up call, that we need to do more to detect incoming asteroids. Although NASA’s WISE telescope has found thousands of asteroids since it’s creation in 2009, there are still thousands more that are going undetected.

Header: Shutterstock

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