The failure to identify the space rock as a near-Earth object highlights the need to better fund detection efforts. Wernher von Braun (centre) explains the Saturn rocket system to President John F Kennedy at Launch Complex 37 while the president tours the Cape Canaveral Missile Test Annex, on 16 November 1963. Just 23 days earlier, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin had become the first man in space. It was first detected by a Brazilian observatory on 24 July just hours before coming within roughly 73,000km of Earth. It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more. NASA and other space agencies have spent years developing possible methods for diverting these problematic space rocks, including controlled explosions. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. All Right Reserved. NASA shares stunning asteroid image from record-breaking orbit, Kilometer-sized asteroid orbits the sun every 151 days, Video shows asteroid 2019 OK zoom past Earth in surprise flyby. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. Are you sure you want to delete this comment? All Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae (ASAS-SN), Burns shows his worth to hit unbeaten century, China destabilising Indo-Pacific: U.S. Defence Secretary, Consistory Confirms Sir John Ribat As Cardinal, Ex-security guard hits Elton John with sexual harassment lawsuit, Air Niugini Resumes Jet Services to Mt Hagen. New asteroids are discovered daily and teams around the world are dedicated to monitoring ones designated near-Earth objects (NEOs), which have the potential of one day becoming an issue for humanity. A back-up copy of the first Russian Sputnik (satellite, right), and a small replica of the second Russian satellite displayed in a small museum in the cosmonaut training centre in Star City outside Moscow. A planetary defence officer at Nasa had written that 2019 OK appeared to be the largest asteroid to pass so close to earth in the last century. The largest asteroid to pass as close to the Earth in a century “slipped through” Nasa’s detection systems, internal emails reveal. A model of the world’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, hangs in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, Full length image of US astronaut Alan B Shepard Jr. Nasa telescopes did spot the asteroid on 7 July, but it was moving too slowly to be identified as a near-Earth object. However, not much attention was given to it until a few hours after it had passed Earth at a dangerously close distance of 45, 000 miles from the earth’s centre – pause for a minute and consider the distance Earth is away from the moon (which we can clearly see), and according to NASA, it’s an average of 238, 855 miles away, the difference between the two figures will give you a glimpse of just how super close Earth was to Asteroid 2019 OK – even scientists were shocked. Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. Share the News. Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when they can to create a true meeting of independent Premium. While 2 million people were registered as “going” to attend the Facebook event of ‘Storming Area 51’ last week Thursday, an asteroid in orbit was 45, 000 miles from the Earth’s centre – far enough? Search for: Search. Facebook Twitter Youtube. The asteroid, named 2019 OK, was about 130 metres big, zooming past planet Earth at a speed of 55, 000 miles per hour. The result is a video showing what appears to be a large black dot on a very grainy background — that dot, of course, is the asteroid. Primary Menu. Another such event was not expected to occur until 2029, they said. While there was never a chance the asteroid would have collided with Earth, a news release sent out weeks later by Nasa said: “If 2019 OK had entered and disrupted in Earth’s atmosphere over land, the blast wave could have created localised devastation to an area roughly 50 miles across.”. If in a case where an NEO was to crash into earth, it would unleashed around 173 kilotons of energy – 10 times more than the atomic bomb that was dropped over Hiroshima in Japan during World War II, that stated, one should now note that this was an actual scenario recorded by NASA in 2018 on December 18 when a large meteoroid was exploded over the Bering Sea, a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean, but because the location was isolated, it went unnoticed and according to NASA, the explosion was the most powerful explosion in the atmosphere since the fireball that burst over the Russian town of Chelyabinsk in 2013. “So, was this just a particularly sneaky asteroid? The result is a video showing what appears to be a large black dot on a very grainy background — that dot, of course, is the asteroid. The most insightful comments on all subjects will be published daily in dedicated articles. Using two different telescopes on the International Scientific Optical Network (ISON), the ESA managed to capture an observation of 2019 OK before it whizzed past Earth. The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to Independent Premium. Called 2019 OK, this asteroid measured around 426ft in diameter and came closer to Earth than the Moon. US astronaut Alan B Shepard Jr sitting in his Freedom 7 Mercury capsule, ready for launch on 5 May 1961. To help put things in perspective, the ESA points out that asteroid 2019 OK was around the size of a football field and its approach near Earth came within one-fifth the distance between our planet and the Moon. “This object slipped through a whole series of our capture nets, for a bunch of different reasons,” Dr Paul Chodas, manager of Nasa’s Centre for Near Earth Object Studies, wrote to colleagues on 26 July. “All we have to do is change its speed a little faster or a little slower so that when it crosses Earth’s orbit, it crosses either in front of us or behind us,” Director of Planetary Science at NASA, Dr. Lori Glaze stated. Please continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates. But you shouldn’t lose sleep over an asteroid coming into collision with our planet, scientists have given their word that the chances are thin. The emails showed space agency employees rushing to discover how the asteroid avoided detection, after a colleague alerted them to the near-miss “because there may be media coverage tomorrow”. Jet propulsion laboratory director William Pickering (left), Dr James Van Allen (centre), and Dr Wernher von Braun (right) hold up a model of the first US satellite Explorer 1, which successfully launched on 31 January 1958, President Kennedy speaks to the nation at the joint session of congress, in Washington, DC, on 25 May 1961, where he said: “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth.”. The surprise close approach of asteroid '2019 OK' illustrates need for more eyes on the sky☄️Find out more: https://t.co/mYzmcD5Rtx#PlanetaryDefence pic.twitter.com/J7pfCrJPD8, — ESA Operations (@esaoperations) August 2, 2019. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium. Featured International. At the Planetary Defence Conference in May, a virtual asteroid slammed into New York after Nasa scientists and international experts failed to stop it in a simulation designed to test the response to such a real-life scenario. Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? While the Trump administration has placed great emphasis on returning to the moon, a June report released in June by the US National Academy of Sciences urged that better detection methods and infra-telescopes were needed for Nasa to meet its 2020 target. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? By the time it sped up it was too close to a nearly full moon for astronomers to detect, according to the emails. The second satellite was launched just a month later on 3 November 1957 with dog Laika on board. Oh no, (and this should concern you if you live on Earth), scientists point out that it’s much closer than the distance between the Earth and the moon! Yes, let that sink in – and if this is not shocking enough, take a look at the video produced by the All Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae (ASAS-SN): This is the video of the close encounter of Asteroid 2019 OK we have been Twitting all day with the Earth: https://t.co/bjT7uhQJuO pic.twitter.com/3e4UyPcdPl. I wonder how many times this situation has happened without the asteroid being discovered at all?”. “It is interesting to note that if a space-based infrared telescope had been on station and scanning the skies two years ago, it probably would have detected 2019 OK back then and this year’s close encounter would not have been a surprise,” Dr Chodas said in Nasa’s August press release. Share 0. EMTV is Papua New Guinea’s oldest and largest television station and has been the country’s window to the world for over three decades, EMTV offers a free-to-air, general entertainment television channel and provides one of the most respected and trusted sources of news and information in the country today. The ESA was one of multiple agencies and institutions around the world that observed the asteroid as it neared and passed our planet. Will a giant asteroid really hit earth in 2019? Create a commenting name to join the debate, There are no Independent Premium comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts, There are no comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts. It’s probably the largest asteroid to pass this close to Earth in quite a number of years.” Astronomer, Michael Brown commented. After several delays and more than four hours in the capsule, Shepard was ready to go, and he famously urged mission controllers to “fix your little problem and light this candle”. While 2 million people were registered as “going” to attend the Facebook event of ‘Storming Area 51’ last week Thursday, an asteroid in orbit was … A visitor passes in front of a picture of Yuri Gagarin, the first cosmonaut of the USSR, inside the Vostok 1 command capsule on display at the exhibition “The way of Gagarin – achievement of Russian manned cosmonautics” in Moscow. Race to Space: US and Soviet Union's Cold War rivalry, Huge asteroid that narrowly missed Earth ‘slipped through the net’, Asteroid that killed dinosaurs hit with force of 10bn atomic bombs, Nasa is investigating the first ever ‘space crime’, How Nasa plans to put a US flag on Mars by 2033, You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully, Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful language is not acceptable, Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties, We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification.
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