Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson likens earth’s place in the universe to being on the receiving end of a shooting gallery.
As our planet hurtles through the etherial Milky Way Galaxy, we are being constantly bombarded by space rocks of all sort. Asteroids, meteors, meteorites, comets, and other stone-like bodies are whizzing by us, and smacking into us, every day.
Luckily for all involved, we have largely avoided any substantial or life-threatening impacts during our lifetimes.
And, should we face such a tragedy, NASA and other science groups would give us plenty of warning….right?
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A small asteroid shot towards Earth at 14.9 kilometres per second, and NASA admitted it did not know it was coming. The space rock known as 2019 MO was just three metres wide and exploded when it hit the planet’s atmosphere on 22 July above the Caribbean, but the way it approached unexpectedly reaffirms the need for more eyes on the sky. NASA said: “When first spotted, 2019 MO was about 310,000 miles (500,000 kilometers) from Earth – farther out than the orbit of our Moon.
NASA said: “The body had been spotted only four times in just under half an hour, which was not enough information to determine where the object came from or exactly where it was headed.”
It would be reassuring to hear that this is an isolated incident, but, alas, it is not.
On July 25, a huge asteroid which was roughly the size of a football pitch, skimmed Earth, and scientists were unaware it was coming.
The last major astral impact on earth occurred back in 2013 when a large meteor exploded in the air over the Ural region of Russia, causing nearly 1,500 non-direct injuries.
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