March 25, 2023

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Why can’t astronomers find some asteroids approaching Earth? SCIEPRO / Science Photography Library

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Astronomers did not notice the asteroid 2021 SG, which was closest to Earth on September 17, and did not detect it until it fell directly near Earth, i.e. 240,000 km away.

This is less than the distance that separates the Moon from the Earth.

This was acknowledged by Paul Chots, NASA’s Director of Space Exploration. Why did it happen? – Because, 2021 S.G.

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Scientists believe that its length is not more than 94 meters and its width is not less than 42 meters. But his speed reached 68 thousand kilometers per hour. If this asteroid fell on Canadian soil, it would have caused severe damage. Just as an asteroid crashed in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah 3,600 years ago and killed 8,000 people, it would have caused a local tragedy if it had fallen on a Canadian city.

The asteroid orbits the Earth once every 27 months.

Last year meteorologists did not notice the 10-diameter meteorite 2020 VT4, which approached Earth at a distance of 380 km and flew over the British Pitcairn Islands in the South Pacific. It had to collide with the International Space Station, flying at an altitude of 340 to 430 km. Fortunately, the station was located in an area of ​​the South Atlantic.

Also in 2018, astronomers observed the 20-meter-diameter asteroid 2009 FH, the day before the dangerous approach to Earth. The asteroid flew at an altitude of satellites (32,000 km).

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And all these meteorites, the asteroid “Chelyabinsk” that fell in the Ural region of Russia, came from the direction of the sun, so it is difficult for astronomers to find them.

Humanity is still threatened until 2026, when the NASA NEO Surveyor space telescope operates infrared, which can detect dangerous asteroids coming in day and night, millions of kilometers away from the sun.

Source: Komsomolskaya Pravda