AG13 Asteroid Passed Closed to Earth

It was found that the asteroid took around 347 Earth days to complete one revolution around the Sun.

While millions of Americans around were getting ready for work, school, and essentially getting out of bed, an asteroid slipped right between Earth and moon.

As you can see in the GIF below, the asteroid looks to just barely miss us as it passes. The near-Earth object, or NEO, came within half the distance that the moon is from Earth, according to Slooh. The space rock was discovered only on Saturday by the Catalina Sky Survey of the University of Arizona. While the asteroid was relatively small, about 110 feet tall, the asteroid was only discovered a few days before heading towards earth.

"This is moving very quickly, very nearby to us", Eric Feldman, an astronomer with Slooh, said during a live broadcast of the event Monday in the early a.m.

Slooh video also revealed that 2017 AG3 was similar to the asteroid that happened in 2013 in Russia, Chelyabinsk that caused a little damage to buildings.

The near-Earth object, or NEO, has "a particularly elliptical orbit", he noted, adding that "it actually crosses the orbits of two planets, Venus and Earth". But if a good size chunk of it made it through Earth's upper atmosphere near a populated area, there might have been damage like we saw with the aforementioned Chelyabinsk event.

Is Earth prepared for asteroid strike?

More than a thousand people were reportedly injured by flying glass and debris.

Purdue University's Impact Earth simulator studied the 2017 AG13 and stated that it wouldn't be very bad if it entered the Earth's atmosphere.

Though the surprise asteroid was quite big, and his blast hypothetically would have been more powerful than the Hiroshima atomic bomb, it wouldn't have had much effect on Earth's ground.

Unexpected asteroid flybys such as this one are far from unprecedented. NASA also recently announced that the Lucy probe will study the Trojan asteroids orbiting Jupiter and the Psyche probe will explore a metal asteroid that may have been the core of planet. Of these, 15,000 have already been detected to date. The extinction of the prehistoric dinosaurs is after all largely blamed on a giant asteroid that struck Earth in ancient times. NASA researchers, said that none of these poses threat in the foreseeable future.

  • Joey Payne