NASA usually monitors a good portion of the sky for dangerous asteroids, but it’s practically impossible to track down every single space rock. The 2021 SG asteroid is one of those exceptions, and although it’s not big enough to destroy the world, it would have still produced some damage if it hit our beloved planet.
The 2021 SG asteroid is big as the wingspan of a Boeing 747 plane, and it couldn’t be detected until a day after it passed by Earth, according to The Jerusalem Post. The reason why the space rock came undetected might shock you: it was coming from the direction of the Sun.
Flying past Earth on September 16
The 2021 SG asteroid has a diameter of 42 to 94 meters, meaning that you clearly don’t want it to land anywhere near your backyard.
The asteroid passed by our planet at about half the distance that separates Earth from the Moon, and it was hurtling at over 85,000 km/h. For the Universe, that distance is practically nothing. The closest approach was at about 4.28 p.m. EST.
Dave Tholen, an astronomer from the University of Hawaii, declared as quoted by jpost.com:
Objects like this one… are difficult to find and track,
There are likely more such objects that have yet to be discovered, and we need a better census of them to estimate what might be the threat of Earth impact.
Once again, we’re proven that there’s no such thing as 100 percent insurance that astronomers will see on time a huge asteroid approaching Earth. The big question is, what will humanity do if a “Chicxulub 2.0” visits us. The asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs from the face of our planet roughly 60 million years ago was known as the Chicxulub impactor. Let’s hope that humanity will have the right technology when and if a similar event will occur.