Asteroid 2009 DD45 Just Misses Earth

March 4th, 2009 - 10:13 pm ICT by GD  

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has reported an asteroid that just missed the earth on Monday morning. The asteroid, named 2009 DD45 was only 48,000 miles from Earth when it zoomed past. That is only two times as long as some telecommunications satellites and perhaps one-fifth of the Moon’s distance from Earth. It is incredibly close by astronomical terms though and could have spelled potential disaster.

The asteroid measured between 69 and 154 feet in diameter making it the same size as the space ball that blasted into Tunguska in Siberia in 1908 and razed to the ground forest land covering more than 800 square miles. That is an area much larger than Greater London. The asteroid was noticed only two days ago and at its closest point to Earth passed over the Pacific Ocean near Tahiti. It was noticed on Saturday and passed by the earth on Monday.

Rob McNaught from Australia’s Siding Spring Observatory mentioned that the asteroid was not a threat but had it been close to collision with Earth there would be at least 24 hours warning so people could evacuate safely. There are nearly 1000 such astronomical bodies that are considered potential threats. A 300-meter asteroid hitting the earth could have changed the face of the earth triggering off a global winter for a year’s time and a kilometer long asteroid could mean disaster everywhere in the world.

If the asteroid were to hit the earth it would have exploded with the severity of a nuclear blast and it is shocking that humans had only three days notice to monitor its path. The asteroid may return again in the future if it is drawn in by the earth’s gravity.

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