A space rock passes near Earth and was not detected in time

News and politics30 Jun’24 15:08author: Philip van den Herk

Two large space rocks passed close to Earth this week, the “small” one measuring 200 metres in diameter, the larger one measuring more than two kilometres thick. The European Space Agency is concerned because the smaller one was only recently discovered. Space expert Rob van den Berg says the rock was only spotted 10 days ago, but both are passing Earth just fine.

A space rock passes near Earth and was not detected in time

The two-kilometre-thick rock passed near Earth on Thursday, at a distance of about “seventeen times the distance from Earth to the Moon.” But the smaller rock flies so close that, according to van den Berg, it should be visible from Earth on Saturday: “This rock flies between the Earth and the Moon, and if you know where to look, you can see it with binoculars.” ‘

“This was a space rock we didn’t know about, and yet it’s so close.”

Aviation expert Rob van den Berg

Well-founded fears

According to Van den Berg, ESA is concerned that the smaller rock was not observed “in time”. “We hope that it has spotted all the potentially dangerous space rocks, so we didn’t know about them, and yet they are so close.” Fortunately, this time the rock is flying at a safe distance.

According to van den Berg, smaller rocks are burning up in the atmosphere every week, but larger rocks like the one pictured this week are really dangerous. “Rocks larger than a few feet can cause serious damage.” The last major meteor impact was in 2013 over Russia, which involved a rock “several tens of meters” long. Van den Berg says that even a rock of this size is dangerous, and several people have been injured in Russia.

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