A space rock provided Earth a close shave Sunday.
Nobody saw little asteroid 2020QG coming, but it whipped by our world as close as anything weve ever seen that was able to continue going.
According to NASAs database of near Earth objects, the car-sized space rock flew by at about 4,778 miles from the center of our planet. That implies it could have been less than 1,000 miles above our heads at its closest point, lower in elevation than basically all artificial satellites in orbit.
It presently owns the space for closest close technique in the database, which extends back a century.
Now for the kicker – 2020 QG, which likewise passed the identifier ZTF0DxQ prior to getting an official catalog entry, wasnt identified by an observatory up until hours after the minute of closest technique on Sunday.
While this might sound disconcerting, its not really much to stress about as this asteroid most likely postured no threat even if it had actually slammed into Earths atmosphere.
NASA estimates 2020 QG to have a size of about 10-20 feet. That makes it approximately the size of a Tesla Model 3, which makes you wonder for a 2nd if the car Elon Musk notoriously released towards Mars may have triggered its self-governing boosters and tried to make its way home.
If a Tesla, or almost anything else that size hit Earth, it would likely burn up as it met the serious resistance offered by our atmosphere.
A couple years back, a comparably sized asteroid dubbed 2018 LA was spotted before it actually did effect Earth. Its believed that just the tiniest bits made it to the ground in Africa, triggering no reported damage or injuries.
For some context, the bolide that shocked the world when it blew up in the sky over Russia in 2013, burning out thousands of windows listed below, was most likely a minimum of ten times bigger than 2020QG.
That asteroid likewise avoided early detection, however the bright side is that astronomers and automated sky surveys are improving at scanning the skies for inbound hazards.
We still have blind areas, nevertheless, especially in the southern hemisphere, which is where it appears this asteroid made its close fly-by.