A massive asteroid whizzed by Earth yesterday, on September 12th, at about 12,000 miles per hour. While the space rock meant no threat to humanity, or life on Earth, there was an intriguing issue with it – NASA didn’t spot this massive asteroid until it passed close to our planet.
Named 2019 RX2, the large space rock is one of the so-called Near-Earth Objects (NEOs). This category of asteroids include all those space rocks that represent a potential danger of impacting with our world. NASA is usually tracking NEOs to survey all the asteroids that might be a threat to life on Earth.
2019 RX2 is an Apollo-type massive asteroid because it’s similar to Asteroid 1862 Apollo. In the future, however, large space rocks like 2019 RX2 might impact Earth. And now, the question is, how can NASA and other space agencies in the world protect Earth from devastating collisions?
NASA Didn’t Spot 2019 RX2 Massive Asteroid That Whizzed By Earth Yesterday
As per some calculation made by NASA scientists, 2019 RX2 has already passed next to our planet many times before the recent observations. However, NASA was late in spotting the potentially-threatening massive asteroid. The US space agency observed the space rock just a few hours before it whizzed by Earth on September 12th, at about 3 AM UTC.
The massive asteroid 2019 RX2 missed our planet by only 1.7 million miles that means about seven times the distance between the Moon and Earth. It whizzed by Earth at about 12,000 miles per hour, as per NASA estimations.
“As they orbit the Sun, Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) can occasionally approach close to Earth. Note that a ‘close’ passage astronomically can be very far away in human terms: millions or even tens of millions of kilometers,” said NASA in a press release. Accordingly, 2019 RX2 was not a threat to life on Earth, but it might happen in the future that one space rock might impact our world, and NASA might not spot it time.