An asteroid just flew by Earth about 50% closer than the moon, and we barely saw it coming

An asteroid just flew by Earth about 50% closer than the moon, and we barely saw it coming
An asteroid just flew by Earth about 50% closer than the moon, and we barely saw it coming

38 more this month.

I'm guessing it's a fairly common occurrence.

Or to put it in non sensationalist terms a 30 to 110foot high rock missed the earth by around 115,000 miles

I could stay awake just hear you breeeeaaatthhhinnnn

The article says, even if it hit, it likely would have caused little to no damage at all.

Now I gotta worry about fucking asteroids. Thanks, reddit.

I saw two shooting stars recently within a few days distance in a city with a lot of light pollution, where I rarely spend time outside of work or home, rarely look at the sky and in my life I have only seen a few shooting stars.

I've been wondering since if it's not asteroid season or something at the moment. Then a couple of articles since about passing objects.

But the bright light from the air friction as it entered would have distracted the baby turtles as they hatched just long enough to lead them away from the ocean and into the waiting maws of the sand crabs.

Tell that to the family of sea turtles it would have killed

Just do what everyone else does: get addicted to a substance and firmly bury your head in the sand 😊

Probably about 71% of them.

I've been wondering since if it's not asteroid season or something at the moment.

It's not. Asteroids fly past the Earth all the time and many get caught by the gravity and plummet to the surface, usually vaporizing it the atmosphere before they can do anything dangerous.

It's not that Asteroids are uncommon, its spotting and tracking them that's the issue. We are talking about observing the whole night sky 24/7 and seeing extremely dim objects move from one spot to another across the sky (and with all due respect, its a really big ass sky). Then you gotta plot its probably trajectory based on where it has moved (all this from Earth, so it looks almost 2D and you have to compute that for a 3D model) and then see where the Earth would be at any point where the asteroid might cross its orbit.

Now, many people may stargaze for several hours and see a few shooting starts (meteors that hit the Earth which are large enough to see re-entering with the naked eye). But to actually track every Comet and Asteroid that may come even remotely close to the Earth on the budget these sort of programs are surviving on, its a miracle we can track the ones we have tallied now, not to mention detecting all the newer ones that come close to the Earth which may be heading over due to gravitational disturbances from Jupiter, other asteroids, or collisions.

If you really want to hear about an asteroid season for the Solar System, the Late Heavy Bombardment is a time period where Jupiter and Saturn basically just shot gunned the Earth and Moon with a crap ton of comets and asteroids which gave the moon much of its present appearance today and possibly gave the Earth a good portion of the water it has today.

Realistically, we could stand to devote a bit of our military budget to making sure we don't get dinosaured.

No - the asteroid would have never even made it to the surface. It likely would have broken up in the atmosphere. Unless sea turtles could be harmed by a loud noise, nothing would have been hit.

Fucking sand crabs

Animal Crackers™

Tbh if something was on a collision course with earth and there was nothing we could do, I think I'd rather not know in advance.

From Nasa: Somewhere between these two occurrences:

About once a year, an automobile-sized asteroid hits Earth's atmosphere, creates an impressive fireball, and burns up before reaching the surface.

Every 2,000 years or so, a meteoroid the size of a football field hits Earth and causes significant damage to the area.

It is. Asteroids this size is nothing to worry about. If it doesn't explode harmlessly in the air, 71% odds it's going to hit water, and less than 0.1% chance it's gonna hit any kind of population center.

It depends on its velocity, angle of entry and the size of its drag profile. If you come at a very low angle, the atmosphere before impact can be twenty times thicker than it is for an object arriving perpendicular to the surface.

An asteroid the size of this one could easily be completely destroyed by the atmosphere if it transitioned into a tight orbit first and then that orbit decayed until it struck the atmosphere.

Not sure, but I'd want to. Why would you want to perish in a near extinction event?

I'm curious, what is the largest an asteroid can be and still burn up almost entirely in our atmosphere?

Little known fact: sea turtles' secret survival technique is to actually float high up in the atmosphere when they sleep, to avoid humans and predators, but this also means that their most mortal enemy is colliding asteroids. It's why they have shells, to protect their internal bubble filled with easily explosive hydrogen gas, and as a heat shield when they come back to Earth (ever wondered why human rocket's heat shields look so similar to turtle shields?).

All of it, all of the area.

Obama cut the budget lol. Trump has called for mars

I dunno man. I just miss the dinos.

it was 36 to 110 ft across for the curious

is pretty risky

I don't doubt it, life would probably be pretty terrible, but I just can't bring myself around to the idea of giving up and letting myself die. Who knows, maybe that mindset means I'll just simply become one of those roving barbaric nut jobs.

Erm... don't? An absolutely fascinating excerpt from A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson:

An asteroid or comet traveling at cosmic velocities would enter the Earth’s atmosphere at such a speed that the air beneath it couldn’t get out of the way and would be compressed, as in a bicycle pump. As anyone who has used such a pump knows, compressed air grows swiftly hot, and the temperature below it would rise to some 60,000 Kelvin, or ten times the surface temperature of the Sun. In this instant of its arrival in our atmosphere, everything in the meteor’s path—people, houses, factories, cars—would crinkle and vanish like cellophane in a flame.

One second after entering the atmosphere, the meteorite would slam into the Earth’s surface, where the people of Manson had a moment before been going about their business. The meteorite itself would vaporize instantly, but the blast would blow out a thousand cubic kilometers of rock, earth, and superheated gases. Every living thing within 150 miles that hadn’t been killed by the heat of entry would now be killed by the blast. Radiating outward at almost the speed of light would be the initial shock wave, sweeping everything before it.

For those outside the zone of immediate devastation, the first inkling of catastrophe would be a flash of blinding light—the brightest ever seen by human eyes—followed an instant to a minute or two later by an apocalyptic sight of unimaginable grandeur: a roiling wall of darkness reaching high into the heavens, filling an entire field of view and traveling at thousands of miles an hour. Its approach would be eerily silent since it would be moving far beyond the speed of sound. Anyone in a tall building in Omaha or Des Moines, say, who chanced to look in the right direction would see a bewildering veil of turmoil followed by instantaneous oblivion.

Within minutes, over an area stretching from Denver to Detroit and encompassing what had once been Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, the Twin Cities—the whole of the Midwest, in short—nearly every standing thing would be flattened or on fire, and nearly every living thing would be dead. People up to a thousand miles away would be knocked off their feet and sliced or clobbered by a blizzard of flying projectiles. Beyond a thousand miles the devastation from the blast would gradually diminish.

But that’s just the initial shockwave. No one can do more than guess what the associated damage would be, other than that it would be brisk and global. The impact would almost certainly set off a chain of devastating earthquakes. Volcanoes across the globe would begin to rumble and spew. Tsunamis would rise up and head devastatingly for distant shores. Within an hour, a cloud of blackness would cover the planet, and burning rock and other debris would be pelting down everywhere, setting much of the planet ablaze. It has been estimated that at least a billion and a half people would be dead by the end of the first day. The massive disturbances to the ionosphere would knock out communications systems everywhere, so survivors would have no idea what was happening elsewhere or where to turn. It would hardly matter. As one commentator has put it, fleeing would mean “selecting a slow death over a quick one. The death toll would be very little affected by any plausible relocation effort, since Earth’s ability to support life would be universally diminished.”

I think the answer depends on what the asteroid is made of.

Well, yeah.

The NEOCam telescope is designed to detect larger space rocks of roughly 460 feet or greater. If NEOCam were to launch, a 10-year-long mission would be expected to discover 10 times as many known NEOs of that size or bigger in any previous survey of the sky. ... Yet last week, NASA chose for the second time not to fully fund NEOCam.

And you can bet your ass our incoming "President" and his friends won't be funding it either.

50% closer than the moon

grazed Earth

The Earth and the Moon aren't that close.

50% closer than the moon

grazed Earth

The Earth and the Moon .

I think I would like it to be made public, otherwise only the wealthy and connected will even have the possibility of surviving.

Sorry, can't think about asteroids, too busy focusing on my addiction

Every 2,000 years or so, a meteoroid the size of a football field hits Earth and causes significant damage to the area.

The area of Earth?

Seriously, you can fit every planet in our solar system between the earth and our moon with a few thousand miles to spare.

Quite enormous to cause worldwide harm. I think the K-T extinction was caused by an asteroid about the size of the entire city of San Francisco.

But we could be this cool if we got dinosaured.

Dang I never thought about it until now but I wonder how many asteroids are in the ocean.

Unfortunately, studying Geology has spoiled me from thinking more short term about this kind of stuff. Sorry. Either way though, its not really uncommon for an asteroid or comet come near the Earth, and its not very uncommon for the Earth to be hit either, long term speaking.

Short term, I definitely didn't take this into account. Sorry if I came off like an ass. However, since this is a passing, I'm not too concerned about it. The real issue does show though is that we have a seriously underfunded asteroid spotting system. So even if something was coming at us, there might be little we could do before it hit the planet.

No need to get racial about it.

All presidents publicly support space exploration, job creation, and the building of infrastructure. It's rare that these are useful for differentiation.

he bout to

Life would be fucking horrible after. A huge number of the survivors would descend into barbarism, food would be scarce, the environment would completely change for the worse, and struggle would be the everyday norm.

I hope one hits me, just me though.

Watch you smile while you are sleeping

Life is pain.

Contrary to popular belief, shooting stars are very common. On an average night at any given place on earth, several (10+) shooting stars will be visible each hour. People believe they are rare because we usually aren't looking up when they occur.

I found a picture of you from the future

Bush called for Mars in 2006.

How large would an asteroid need to be before it gets into earth's atmosphere to be the size of a bowling ball when it hits earth?

The Chelyabinsk meteor was 17-20m diameter and exploded with the equivalent of 500 kilotons of TNT (about 1.8 PJ), about 29 times the energy released from the atomic bomb detonated at Hiroshima.

Edit: This tweet says ~723 kilotons for 2017 AG13

While you're far away and dreaming

It was asteroid season though earlier this year due to passing by or through the path of a massive 2KM wide exhausted comet. I looked it up. Turns out it likely wasn't a coincidence. Also this asteroid may be related to 2003 EH1. It may have come from it or been 'towed' into a similar path.

Basically my instinct if I see two shooting stars with out trying when I usually see none and rarely look at the sky is that something might be passing by. For me to have caught them in my peripheral vision they would have to be larger than the run of the mill.

Asteroids up to ~30m in diameter tend to break up in the atmosphere. 50-100m asteroids tend to make it to the ground and can destroy cities. It depends on the composition though. Ice and porous rock breaks up in the atmosphere a lot more easily than solid metals.

thx for the existential dread

And its speed and shape, probably!

I'm gonna need that in football fields.

The world doesn't spend nearly enough to protect the planet from comets.

Yes the world, not only America or NASA.. this needs to be a global effort. We are playing Russian Roulette in space and we are doing almost nothing about it. Some efforts are being made like

NASA and organizations claim they know the locations of any comets and asteroids headed towards earth that could pose a threat but cases like these are a perfect example how that's not true.

Let's not wait for a massive tragedy like a city getting wiped out before we start taking action.

The resources and technology are out there, it's not as simple as blowing them up but to redirect them.

I got you fam

I got you

They give you this exact information in the article. Imagine that...

Usually explode. a common meteor structure has has dense metal base peppered with lighter crystalline materials. Those materials heat up from re-entry and they vaporize more readily than the metal. Since they're encased this makes them go bang.

It changed my opinion, but I'm still worried. I'm now worried it hits too far away to kill me instantly.

Asteroids, if you're coming, Des Moines called you a sissy. Don't let Iowa talk to you like that.

I could spend my life in this sweet surrender

Canadian football is on ice, so no.

Unless the meteoroid is made of ice, then yes.

If the meteoroid is corrupt then he'll land in Qatar in 2022. If so, I'm gonna need that in number of swiss bank accounts.

That was Obama's response

Any idea how much damage that would do?

a space rock as big as a 10-story building grazed Earth

Does the word "graze" imply it touched or scraped the earth lightly in passing? I'm not to question the high journalism standards of the Business Insider Australia..but it might have raised a few more eyebrows if it had.

How big of an asteroid can our atmosphere handle?

NASA and organizations claim they know the locations of any comets and asteroids headed towards earth that could pose a threat but cases like these are a perfect example how that's not true.

Except that this asteroid did not pose a threat, it's far too small to cause any widespread damage even on a direct hit. To be considered a potentially hazardous object, a body has to be at least 100 meters in diameter.

And no, no space agency claimed that they know the locations of every dangerous object. We probably have found all or almost all the biggest ones (>1 km), but a lot of smaller ones are still untracked.

You're like a bot.

They can vary in size. They can also be pieces of debris from satellites.

The point is seeing two in short succession in what seems like standard conditions when I usually see none is odd. Perhaps if there was no moon it might play a part but I have no idea what the moon was doing at the time, I never look into the sky these days.

Normally if you get a few at a time it might mean some kind of event with a satellite, going through an area with a higher concentration of space detritus or a larger asteroid can be accompanied by small fragments (sometimes pieces may break off some asteroids/comets).

It's most likely a coincidence but it plays on the mind regardless.


It might be this:

Which would mean my instinct was right. I didn't make note of if it was late Dec or early Jan though.

Strange still because I very rarely notice any shower.

So we would have to sacrifice both Ben afflec and Bruce willis

Then do what everybody else does: buy a telescope and keep watch of the night sky and scream in terror every time you see a shooting star or UFO

I see a little silhouetto of a man

Shooting stars are meteors, typically about the size of a grain of sand. Occasionally they are large enough to survive their descent through the atmosphere but they are not world enders.

Maybe they can't read, you jerk. Ever think of that?

"Begging your pardon sir, but it's a big ass sky"

It can't stop a laser, but it can completely pulverise and burn giant rocks 20 metres wide into harmless dust.

Hard to tell. Nature's shapes are different. You could easily imagine a perfect cone surviving a lot better than a big, pitted sorta-sphere, right? Basically more surface area for the same weight, and you'll have a larger drag coefficient. But I'm not sure if naturally forming asteroids could have enough of a difference in shape to really matter.

the one time i expect manning face.

Why would you want to survive a near extinction event?

Don't worry. This and earthquake fearmongering exist to get a rise out of you.

Just relax and live while you can, and take comfort knowing that if an asteroid kills us you won't have to suffer through the slow agonizing misery of a death by natural causes surrounded by grand children who think you smell bad.

Then you could turn around and apply the same critique to every other thing he had said, it's all just playing the public then and we shouldn't take anything seriously.

Along with the other great comments, one thing that people forget is that the majority of the Earth is ocean, and most land is uninhabited, too. Pick a few random coordinates and see how many cities you land on.

Obama's administration didn't fund it, better blame Trump!

Depends on if it had a naquadah core.

Just imagine if one of these hit Russia or the U.S. in 1963.

"The Astroid exists and he's American"

I mean, it's just the atmosphere. It couldn't stop a laser or anything, but I guess it's pretty cool.

It was a satellite, they look like stars but are moving across the sky, faster than a plane and much slower that a shooting star. If you go look for them at night you are likely to see them every 5-10 minutes or so

No, it's never happened, but even the 10m x 30m asteroid in the article is said to have the energy of several Hiroshima bombs. If most of that energy makes it to the surface in a populated area, it's very bad news.

An asteroid exploded over an unpopulated area of Siberia in 1908 and it flattened 2000 square km of forest. Its diameter was estimated to be 60m.

Let's cut Nasa funding!

-Political response.

I blame Pluto.

Actually the frequency of meteor strikes likely varies with latitude.


And of course the surface area of the earth that is covered with water also varies with latitude.

(But it's still probably in that ballpark.)

We could be all kinds of cool.

A lot of people think they want that more than what we currently have.


Those damn bugs !

Are you hoping to become a reaper?

Yeah! and he doubled down on the bullshit by appointing Elon Musk as an adviser too, that pompous bastard /s

Or even better: naquadria.

There goes Erf

The healthiest thing you can do is accept that it is a situation beyond your control. Many things are beyond our control. We are spectators, if you will. Worrying does nothing in this situation, so you should abandon it and instead focus on enjoying the ride.

Canadian or American?

In the article it says it would have just exploded in the air and wouldn't have done any damage to the ground.

I wonder how much the raw materials on it were worth.

have to understand the diference between a car sized asteroid that will desintegrate and a much bigger one that actually does damage to an area... The larger ones will be detected.

Except for the fact that Trump has said that he wants to send people to mars...

Caffeine is to drugs as Playboy is to porn. So sure.

explode or disintegrate ?

Nothing wrong with pressing the reset Earth button every now and then.

Mom's spaghetti

Sorry can't think about telescopes. Too busy shrieking in terror.