Football Field Sized Asteroid Zooms Past Earth
General
Jun 24, 2020

An asteroid larger than a football field zoomed past the Earth on 5th June. Watch the latest environment video to learn more.

Asteroids are small rocky objects that orbit the Sun. They are very small in comparison to planets. Dozens of asteroids pass harmlessly between the Earth and the moon every year. An asteroid larger than a football field zoomed past the Earth on 5th June. The distance between the earth and the asteroid was closer than earth and our moon. Astronomers came to know about it only after it had already passed. This asteroid was the largest to pass from near the earth in nine years. The asteroid might have been big enough to leave a 1 kilometre-wide crater. 

According to Purdue University’s impact predictor, if it would have hit the Earth there would have been a big and fast explosion similar to a nuclear-sized explosion. NASA said that it discovered the asteroid on 7th June i.e. two days after it passed between the Earth and the moon. The Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) is a NASA funded project that specifically looks out for asteroids.  ATLAS identifies, catalogs and projects the paths of these asteroids but sometimes some asteroids get missed. 

The last time such a dangerous asteroid passed by the earth was in 2019 when a 100 metre-wide asteroid suddenly came out and passed within 73,000 kilometres of Earth. It came from the direction of the sun and was not spotted till the last minute. That asteroid would have been a “city killer”.