An amateur astronomer finds a kilometer-wide asteroid, which could cause a real apocalypse, if he collided with the Earth. Fortunately, danger is over, when a huge cosmic body just flew past our planet at a distance of 40 million kilometers on September 10.
Despite the fact that the asteroid flew by, experts
“This event became another reminder that we have not discovered all large near-Earth asteroids. To fully protect the Earth from space threats, we must continue to support ground-based astronomy and invest in space projects like the NEOSM telescope, ”said Casey Dreyer, lead space policy advisor for the Planetary Society.
Leonardo Amaral discovered the asteroid at the Campo dos Amarais observatory in Brazil in late August. The object, dubbed 2020 QU6, has become one of the largest near-Earth asteroids in recent years.
2020 QU6 piqued the interest of scientists first, because most experts believe that at the moment 90% of objects more than one kilometer wide have already been discovered. This means that the new asteroid is included in the unknown 10%. However, astronomers believe that it is much more important to track small asteroids that can cause destruction on a regional scale.
So in 2013, a 20-meter asteroid exploded over Chelyabinsk, knocking out glass and damaging buildings. A century earlier, in 1908, a larger asteroid crashed into our planet next to the Podkamennaya Tunguska River, razing an entire forest to the ground. If now an asteroid the size of the Tunguska meteorite strikes a large metropolis, millions of people could die.