Averting Asteroid Disasters Should be Done Better

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An asteroid flew past Earth on July 25 and astronomers learned that institutions from around the world have been caught completely off-guard.

The asteroid that leveled 800 square miles in Siberia a century ago was only half the size of this asteroid and the aftermath of the collision still is significantly scary.

Reasons for concern

The asteroid was named 2019 OK and the worst part about it passing by Earth is that it was discovered only one day prior whizzing past our planet, its speed is estimated between 40,000 and 50,000 MPH at only 40,000 miles away from us. While some overlook the passing of 2019 OK, others called it a “city killer”.

The distance between our planet and the asteroid was estimated at about 40,000 miles. Some feel totally safe believing that 40,000 miles is a lot, but it really isn’t. Statistically, some wobbles at the right spots might have provoked a direct hit.

Possible outcome

If 2019 OK impacted Earth, it’s believed that more than 2000 square miles would have been obliterated instantly, alongside any residents.

Current countermeasures

Unfortunately, if an impact with such an asteroid would be imminent, we would have nothing to do but… hope for the best. Our current defense is dumb luck. Indifference and other factors make world leaders oblivious to threats from outer space, which are perhaps one of our worst enemies.

Future threats

There are currently five more asteroids on their way towards our planet, and maybe many more haven’t been detected yet, as NASA tends to miss detecting asteroids that are less than 500 feet across in size.

We don’t know what is out there for sure and we are not prepared to fight back. For now, raising awareness is all we can do.

As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.