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Space & Astronomy

Elephant-sized asteroid passes Earth in extraordinary 'near-miss'

By T.K. Randall
January 29, 2023 · Comment icon 6 comments

There are a lot of potential impactors out there. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Pablo Carlos Budassi
The space rock passed us by at a distance of 2,200 miles - a fraction of the distance at which some satellites orbit the Earth.
When it comes to disaster scenarios, there are none quite as terrifying as the prospect of a gigantic asteroid hurtling into the Earth, causing untold devastation and wiping out human civilization.

This isn't a scenario limited to the movies either - it has happened multiple times throughout Earth's history, resulting in major extinction events such as the one that killed the dinosaurs.

As things stand, it is not a question of if it will happen again, but when.

Fortunately, though, the asteroid which hurtled towards the Earth last week was most assuredly not one of these extinction-level threats.
In addition to being only the size of an elephant, it passed us by at a distance of 2,200 miles.

More worrying, however, was the fact that this particular asteroid had only been detected relatively recently, meaning that if it had been a threat, it would have been too late to do anything about it.

It also passed us very closely - in fact it was the fourth closest asteroid flyby ever recorded.

This means that the threat posed by asteroids is still very real - even a moderately-sized asteroid could cause a lot of damage if it happened to hit us.

Detecting such objects while they are still far out in space, therefore, remains a critically important endeavor.

Source: Sky News | Comments (6)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by spud the mackem 2 years ago
Where is it going to and will it's orbit bring it back ,it only has to deviate by a small degree to hit us . No doubt N.A.S.A will now be tracking it .
Comment icon #2 Posted by Abramelin 1 year ago
Jumbo will not impact on earth. It will flap its ears and fly by.
Comment icon #3 Posted by TripGun 1 year ago
Let's hurry up and get to the post side of the apocalypse.
Comment icon #4 Posted by marczapi 1 year ago
Do you want to know what is really behind the coronavirus pandemic, vaccines, the war in Ukraine and so on? The truth is hard to believe. A massive global cataclysm is coming to Earth! This is the government's best kept secret. Even conspiracy theorists do not know this. In 2023-2025, there will be a cyclical increase of the Sun's magnetic field, which will cause cataclysms around the world. There will be massive earthquakes that will destroy entire countries and kill tens of millions of people. Asteroids will fall to Earth. Powerful geomagnetic storms will cause long-term power outages. There... [More]
Comment icon #5 Posted by Desertrat56 1 year ago
We have a thread for predictions, why don't you post this in that thread.   This is a non-sequitor or something for this thread, which is about a specific asteroid.  And there is a lot of copetition on this forum for your gloom and doom.  You could form a club.   
Comment icon #6 Posted by Crabby Kitten 1 year ago
Elephant? It's a tadpole compared to the one that struck the Earth millions of years ago that wiped out dinosaurs.

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