How did astronomers miss this asteroid that just almost hit Earth?
The asteroid swooped by our planet at such a narrow distance that even the International Space Station was farther away than the rock at its closest approach. The space rock made its pass on November 13th, and while it could have endangered satellites orbiting our planet, it doesn’t appear to have done any harm and passed by safely. 2020 VT4 set a new record for close passes by asteroids, coming close than any space rock that didn’t actually enter Earth’s atmosphere and become a meteor.
There are four problems that humans face with asteroids right now:
- As demonstrated here, asteroids often come close to Earth without being detected until after the fact
- Therefore it is quite possible that asteroids are coming close to Earth without ever being detected
- Out of all of the asteroids that could affect Earth, we have only cataloged a fraction of them
- If an asteroid were known to be on a collision course with Earth, we currently have no way/plan to stop it
The 2013 asteroid in Russia was about 50 feet (16 meters) in diameter:
“The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.