Luckily for us, we don’t have anything to fear soon, since there’s no trace of a “global killer” which can hit our planet. But NASA’s scientists just failed to detect a massive asteroid to pass closest to Earth in the last century.
Many apocalyptic scenarios from the movies and humans’ imagination involve a massive asteroid hitting Earth and wiping out life as we know it, due to the explosion and the ashes blocking the sunlight for centuries or perhaps even thousands of years. As it happened before, 65 million years ago when the dinosaurs got extinct, it may happen again so that all humanity and all life forms, including bacteria shall perish – but not for now!
Massive asteroid whizzed by Earth, and NASA did not detect it
BuzzFeed News via a Freedom of Information Act request obtained some internal emails from NASA which revealed us the scary fact of a massive asteroid. Thank goodness it narrowly missed Earth this summer, but it could have caused some pretty significant damage if it would have hit in a civilized area.
Officials from NASA were stunned by how the asteroid named “2019 OK” could have escaped detection until the day it passed by our planet on July 24th and when an observatory from Brazil reported it.
Paul Chodas, manager of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, asked two relevant questions: first, “why was 2019 OK not discovered by one of the major NASA surveys?” and second, if the Brazilian observatory hadn’t caught the asteroid, “is it possible it could have escaped discovery completely?”
Factors independent of astronomers will have caused NASA not to detect the asteroid
Officials from NASA excused their failure by claiming that several unlikely factors determined the astronomers not to be able to identify “2019 OK” asteroid. Slow-moving nature of the asteroid, bad weather, or the position of the moon could all have caused the unwanted mistake to happen.
Paul Chodas is still very upset about the event, asking more or less rhetorical “So, was this just a particularly sneaky asteroid?” and “I wonder how many times this has happened without the asteroid being discovered at all.”
Unfortunately for us, the scenario from Armageddon is just fake and unscientific, so we can’t count on oil diggers nor Bruce Willis if someday humanity will have to face a “global killer.” And of course, let’s not forget that the sky is unimaginably vast and detecting all unwanted celestial objects is practically impossible. We’ll have to be thankful that for the moment the Universe is very friendly to us and hope NASA will be more careful next time.