"It's impressively close. I don't think it's quite sunk in yet". The asteroid came racing toward our planet at the incredible speed of nearly 15 miles a second before flying past.
If asteroid 2019 OK had actually collided with the Earth's surface, the crash would have had far-reaching devastating consequences, Michael Brown, an associate professor in astronomy at Monash University in Australia, wrote in The Conversation.
"[If it hit Earth] it makes the bang of a very large nuclear weapon-a very large one", he said.
While that might seem like an astronomical number, that's only 20% of the distance between the Earth and the moon, so in universal terms, that qualifies as a pretty narrow miss.
"It was faint, it was close to the sun". Information about the size and path was only known just hours before it went past Earth.
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Despite the catastrophic effect of a possible impact, scientists believe that 2019 OK is not capable of triggering the same level of environmental effect caused by the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs millions of years ago.
Asteroid 2019 OK came hurtling toward Earth at a speed of almost 15 miles a second, before flying past. And although this asteroid isn't a threat to Earth right now, other such near-Earth asteroids could be. For example, NASA is tracking over 90 percent of the asteroids that are 0.62 miles (1 km) or larger and are orbiting close to our planet, according to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
"It could have hit with over 30 times the energy of the atomic blast at Hiroshima", Swinburne University astronomer Alan Duffy informed the paper, calling it a "city-killer asteroid".
With all the excessive-tech at NASA's disposal, you'd suppose that they'd have seen a 427-foot-vast asteroid barreling in the direction of Earth, however generally issues slip previous their watch.