An asteroid (really) grazed Earth on Friday and no one noticed

The Terre does not float alone in the vastness of space, on the contrary. Our own system is therefore home to thousands of different bodies, bodies ranging from the planet to the dwarf planet, including asteroids and even comets.

The law of statistics being what it is, our planet is therefore very often visited by asteroids. And if most of them pass a good distance from our world, it happens that some bodies venture a little closer.

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This is precisely what happened on Friday 13 November.

An asteroid passed very close to Earth last Friday

An asteroid called A10sHcN – to your wishes – has indeed come very close to our planet. It even grazed it, passing at a distance equivalent to that which separates us from the international space station.

Its trajectory has indeed taken it within 400 kilometers of our position, at the same time shattering the record held by 2020 QG which for its part had passed about three thousand kilometers from Earth.

There is more worrying, however. Again, no one has been able to identify this asteroid until it passed our planet.

Indeed, if our instruments work well most of the time, they are sometimes victims of glare and they therefore have difficulty in spotting objects coming from the direction of our star, which was precisely the case here.

A trajectory that brought him to less than 400 km from our position

As a result, A10sHcH was only detected after it had passed close to our world.

Still, if the body had touched our planet, it would have caused very little damage. According to surveys carried out by astronomers, A10sHcH reached a diameter of between 5 and 10 meters and it could not therefore have survived its entry into our atmosphere.

This does not mean, however, that all asteroids are safe. In fact, larger bodies can prove to be extremely dangerous for our facilities. The most striking example being that of Chelyabinsk.

In 2003, a body of only fifteen meters in diameter exploded in the sky above the Russian oblast and the city of the same name saw hundreds of windows explode under the impact. Many people were injured and the city’s emergency services were quickly overwhelmed.

In this context, we understand why space agencies are working on diversion programs.


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