A car-sized asteroid grazed Earth this weekend... and no one noticed!
Sylvie Claire / August 18, 2020
Never has an asteroid passed so close to Earth. Less than 3,000 kilometers away, it can be called a near collision. Craziest: NASA did not realize it until six hours after its passage.
The asteroid, called 2020 HQ, hovered over Earth on Sunday, August 16. Despite several advanced programs supposed to detect approaching space rocks in time, the passage of 2020 HQ went completely unnoticed. One of these programs, funded by NASA, finally spotted the asteroid six hours after its passage.
The closest asteroid ever recorded
An asteroid has never come this close to Earth, except for the asteroids that have struck our planet in the past. According to Business Insider, telescope observations estimate its size to be the size of a car.
At only 2,945 kilometers from Earth, experts speak of "near-collision". What if there had indeed been a collision? Fortunately, due to its size, the asteroid probably would not have posed a danger to people on the ground if it had hit our planet. But its proximity remains worrying, as astronomers had no idea of its existence before its passage.