On Monday morning NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) reported that an asteroid had just missed our planet, as it apparently had been even closer than the Moon itself.
The closest approach by the asteroid occurred around the early hours of Monday, around 7:50 am, which went unnoticeable to the citizens in the United States situated within the eastern coast.
The asteroid, referred to as 2017 AG3 was discovered just a few days before its intimidating approach to Earth, and the distance it had reached in proximity to our planet have been stated to be just half the distance that exists between the Moon and the Earth.
The reported speed of the 2017 AG3 was recorded at a travel speed of 9.9 miles per second, according to the JPL.
An Unnoticed Would Be Collision
Eric Feldman, a Slooh astronomer stated “This is moving very quickly, very nearby to us,” and added that the asteroid had crossed an orbit of both planets of Earth and Venus.
The Catalina Sky Survey of the University of Arizona had only sighted and been aware of this incoming asteroid just a mere two days prior to its flyby, whilst astronomers in general have been aware of other rocks from outer space that are heading towards Earth.
It has been stated that asteroids the size of the 2017 AG3 probably would end up burning up as they enter the planet’s atmosphere, but that all depends on the specific angle from which it approaches the planet to begin with.
The Chelyabinsk meteor that had struck Russia back in 2013 is said to share a similar size with the 2017 AG3, and the destruction of the Chelyabinsk was stated to result in an airburst that exceeded the Hiroshima atomic bomb by about 30 times, and the shockwave that resulted from it had injured nearly 1,600 people.
However, the asteroid-impact simulators reveal that if the 2017 AG3 had entered the Earth’s atmosphere, it would have most likely exploded as an air burst, which would make all residents on land safe as the explosion would take place above them by about 10 miles.