"BU 2023" did not pose any threat to humans

A sudden observation of an asteroid passing near Earth shows a lack of predictive power

Terek Daly: “We do not know where the asteroids that could cause local and regional devastation are located.”

Astronomers say that the observation of an asteroid the size of a pickup truck just a few days before it passed Earth, last Thursday, although it did not pose any threat to humans, highlights a shortcoming in the ability to predict what could cause actual damage.

For years, the US Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has given priority to detecting asteroids that are much larger and more threatening to the existence of humanity than the small space rock “BU 2023”, which moved 2,200 miles from the Earth’s surface, a distance closer than some satellites.

And even if it went towards Earth, the atmosphere would crush it, and only small fragments would reach the land.

But “BU 2023” is the smallest of a group of asteroids whose diameter ranges between five and 50 meters, and these also include large sizes equivalent to an Olympic swimming pool.

It is difficult to detect objects of this size before they are much closer to Earth, which complicates any efforts to prepare for what could affect a populated area.

And “NASA” says that the probability that a space rock, called a “meteor” will collide with the Earth when it enters the atmosphere, its size in this range is relatively low, and this varies according to the size of the asteroid, as it is estimated that the probability of targeting a rock five meters in diameter is the Earth once in A year and a rock 50 meters in diameter is once every 1000 years.

But with the current capabilities, astronomers cannot know when such rocks are heading towards Earth until days before.

"We don't know where the asteroids that could cause local and regional devastation are," said planetary scientist Terek Daly of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory stated that the meteorite, about 20 meters in diameter, which exploded in 2013 over Chelyabinsk, Russia, is something that happens once every 100 years.

The fall of the meteorite caused a shock wave that shattered tens of thousands of windows, and caused damage amounting to 33 million dollars, and no one saw it before it entered the Earth's atmosphere.

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