Published On: Sat, Sep 7th, 2019

Asteroid news: NASA warning over 2019 MO rock which hit Earth from space | Science | News


The asteroid, 2019 MO, burned up in the atmosphere above the Caribbean on June 29.

It was identified by NASA around 300,000 miles from Earth.

This is further away from our planet than the Moon.

In a statement NASA claimed this was “roughly the equivalent of spotting something the size of a gnat from a distance of 310 miles”.

The asteroid was detected by the ATLAS survey telescope situated at the University of Hawaii.

Data was passed to the NASA financed Minor Planet Centre, who calculated the asteroid was on a collision course with Earth.

Davide Farnocchia, a scientist at NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies, commented: “Asteroids this size are far smaller than what we’re tasked to track.

“They’re so small, they would not survive passing through our atmosphere to cause damage to Earth’s surface.

“But this event shows how capable our search programs are, even for objects of such small sizes.”

No casualties or damage were reported when 2019 MO burned up over the Caribbean.

READ MORE: Asteroid shock – ‘God of Chaos’ space rock has chance of Earth strike

Speaking to Our Amazing Planet after the collision American rock dealer Michael Farmer said: “This is the biggest event in our lifetime.

“It’s very exciting scientifically and for collecting, and luckily, it looks like there will be plenty of it.”

The asteroid was reportedly between 30 and 40 times the strength of the atomic bomb the US dropped over Hiroshima in 1945.

In 1908 another asteroid exploded over Siberia, flattening an estimated 825 square miles.

NASA is also tracking 2019 GT3, a larger asteroid estimated to be about the size of the Empire State Building.

It is currently believed to be hurtling through space at a speed of 30,500mph (50,000kmh).

Given the asteroid’s massive size and speed, 2019 GT3 could be capable of creating a 3 mile-wide crater should it collides with Earth.

This makes the asteroid powerful enough to destroy an entire city during an impact event.

2019 GT3 passed by Earth on September 6 without impact.

During the astroid’s near-Earth approach, the massive asteroid was about 0.04996 Astronomical Units (AU) distant or around 4.6 million miles from the planet’s centre.



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