'City-Killer Asteroid' Barely Misses Earth, Surprises Scientists

An asteroid travelling at 15 miles per second barely missed the earth yesterday. And scientists only spotted it a few days ago.

Asteroid 2019 OK is was 43,500 miles away from hitting earth (coming much closer than the moon does) and was travelling from the direction of the sun, making it hard to detect.

Associate Professor Michael Brown of Monash University told the Sydney Morning Herald that the impact would have had an impact similar to a nuclear weapon.

"It would have hit with over 30 times the energy of the atomic blast at Hiroshima," he says. "It's a city-killer asteroid. But because it's so small, it's incredibly hard to see until right at the last minute. It's threading tightly between the lunar orbit. Definitely too close for comfort."

Astronomers say the size of the asteroid ranges between 187 and 426 feet in diameter.

"The lack of warning shows how quickly potentially dangerous asteroids can sneak up on us," Brown says.

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