Asteroid 2019 OK, which has been dubbed as ‘city killer’ came very close to Earth last week, flying at a speed of nearly 15 miles per second before it went past the planet. The asteroid was in fact closer to Earth than the Moon at a distance of nearly 45,000 miles, according to a report in The Washington Post.
According to the report, Asteroid 2019 OK wasn’t one that scientists had been tracking. It had seemingly appeared from “out of nowhere,” is what Michael Brown, a Melbourne-based observational astronomer, told the newspaper. The impact of Asteroid 2019 OK would have been massive, reported Indian Express.
“It would have hit with over 30 times the energy of the atomic blast at Hiroshima.” NASA’s own data shows Asteroid 2019 OK is around 57 to 130 meters wide (187 to 427 feet) in size and it came really close to Earth at less than one-fifth of the distance between our planet and the moon,” astronomer professor Alan Duffy told the Sydney Morning Herald.
The asteroid was detected by separate astronomy teams in Brazil and the United States. Information about the size and path was only known just hours before it went past Earth, reported Washington Post.