Scientists are facing a clear improvement in spotting “potentially dangerous” asteroids, with three space rocks more than 15 meters in diameter spotted on their way this week.However, asteroid hunters lost a 1,000-meter space rock, just last month.
Earth is under an almost permanent threat from space debris, in the form of asteroids and meteors.
On September 16, the asteroid 2020 RW3, which has a diameter of approximately 18 meters, is approaching Earth at a distance of 2.5 million km.
The asteroid attack will conclude on Thursday with two much larger space rocks: 2020RN1 (30 meters in size) and 2014 QJ33 (about 62 meters), as they will pass at a safe distance of 7 million and 2.5 million km respectively.
And in another reminder that humankind must always remain alert to space threats, an amateur astronomer in Brazil discovered a large asteroid that somehow surpassed Earth’s main defenses, last month.
The width of the asteroid 2020 QU6 is about a thousand meters, which is large enough to cause serious damage here on Earth if it collides with us, and was observed by astronomer Leonardo Amaral, based at the Campo dos Amaris Observatory in Brazil, on August 27.
Fortunately, on September 10, our planet passed 40 million kilometers – more than 100 times the distance between Earth and the Moon.
Amaral was able to discover the asteroid thanks to its somewhat privileged location, as it is based in the Southern Hemisphere, while many of our asteroids telescopes are in the Northern Hemisphere.