2019 NJ2 is joining the list of the last asteroids treading closely to Earth, namely 2006 QV89, 2016 NO56M, RF12 with 2019 NN3, 2019 MB4, 2019 MT2 in the same week. The chances to hit our planet were quite small, but every slight variation off its course and that would have been it - the end of the world.
However, they didn't give up: by simulating the orbital mechanics of 2006 QV89, they identified the area of space the asteroid would have to travel through if it was to have a serious chance of hitting Earth. This could be the first time that an asteroid strike has been ruled out in a method like this, according to the ESA.
But, the space agency now says it's ruled that out entirely. And nothing at all was seen in that region: so, no asteroid in that area means no real chance of it hitting our planet.
You see, NASA estimates that an asteroid has to be at least 82 feet (25 metres) across in order to get into Earth's atmosphere far enough to be relatively unsafe before air compression destroys the invader.
In the 10 day period it stayed visible, astronomers from ESA hurried to gather as much data about it as they could. The more we know about these objects, the better we can calculate their orbits and assess how much of a risk they pose.
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The concern is rooted in reports that back in 2006, the odds of it striking us were reported at one in 7,000. From those measurements, the astronomers concluded that it could impact the Earth on 9th of September 2019.
After ten days, the space rock dropped out of sight, but not out of astronomers' minds.
As long as it's not "there" Since astronomers can't determine the trajectory of the asteroid, they had no way of knowing where QV89 was.
The Very Large Telescope in Chile examined the points on July 4 and 5, but there was no sign of the threat.
Three red crosses reveal the specific locations, where the asteroid could have appeared as a single, bright, round source, had it been on a collision course.