If the asteroid had actually collided with Earth, the crash would have caused devastating damage, Michael Brown, an associate professor in astronomy at Monash University in Australia, wrote in The Conversation.
The asteroid was one of four that flew by Earth Wednesday, though Asteroid 2019 OK was the closest and largest. But because it's so small, it's incredibly hard to see until right at the last minute. To put into perspective, asteroid 2019 OK was giant enough to cause an entire city to wipe out as indicated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Swinburne University astronomer Alan Duffy told the Sydney Morning Herald the asteroid would hit with the impact of an atomic bomb.
Teams in the US and Brazil discovered 2019 OK earlier in the week, but the information was released just before it flew by. It will make close approaches in the future, but hopefully not quite this close'.
That might sound far but it is about a fifth of the distance to the Moon, scientists said, and a pretty close call.
The Earth had a surprise visitor Thursday, and not a welcome one.
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Though the famous space agency said none of these posed us a threat, one came closer than the distance between the Earth and the Moon.
A NASA diagram shows how close Asteroid 2019 OK came within hitting the Earth today.
According to data from NASA, the craggy rock was large, roughly 110 yards wide, and moving quickly along a path that brought it within about 45,360 miles of Earth.
For example, back in 2013, a meteor snuck up on us and exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk; that blast was stronger than a nuclear explosion, and the resulting shock wave shattered glass down below and injured more than 1,000 people.
"Asteroid 2019 OK has a very elliptical orbit, taking it from the asteroid belt beyond Mars to within the orbits of both Earth and Venus". The good news - aside from the obvious fact that it didn't strike Earth - is that now that astronomers know it exists they can study it and plot its course, giving us a far earlier warning if it ever ends up in our neck of the woods again.
Still, Lakdawalla said that while the asteroid's close brush with Earth may have sparked some concern, "it is zero percent danger to us". "No known weapon system could stop the mass because of the velocity at which it travels- an average of 12 miles per second", NASA says.