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Meteorite nearly crashed into Earth from near record distance without anyone knowing

On Friday, November 13, a small asteroid passed Earth at an extremely close distance, but was never detected by any aerospace agency at that time.

According to a statement released by the Center for Near-Earth Research (CNEOS), a small meteorite with a diameter of 5 to 10 meters approached the Earth from a distance of only 386 km, just above the sky of the South Pacific. . This gap is closer than that of the International Space Station ISS or SpaceX’s Starlink Internet satellite network. In particular, 2020 VT4 is also the closest asteroid to Earth, much closer than the 2950m record that the 2020 QC meteorite ever set on August 16.

2020 VT4 flew “silently” over Earth without any system detecting it.

Notably, 2020 VT4 flew “silently” over Earth without being detected by any aerospace agency. About 15 hours after passing through Earth, the meteorite was observed by the Mauna Loa Observatory of the Earth-Asteroid Final Collision Warning System (Atlas) in Hawaii early in the morning on Saturday. , November 14.

This is not uncommon for fast moving objects, especially asteroids that plunge towards Earth from the Sun’s blind spot like 2020 VT4.

According to the CNEOS classification, the VT4 2020 meteorite is classified as near-Earth objects (NEO). However, due to the size of a car, the 2020 VT4 is considered unlikely to pose a danger if this asteroid dives into Earth’s atmosphere.

However, in February 2013, a meteorite only 18 m in diameter exploded over the city of Chelyabinsk (Russia), causing extensive damage. The energy generated by the meteor explosion in Chelyabinsk is estimated to be 33 times that of the atomic bomb that fell on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

About 1,491 residents of the city of Chelyabinsk were injured in the incident, mainly from glass shattered by the shock waves released by the explosion, or skin burns from blinding light 30 times stronger. shining sun. At least 112 people were hospitalized and 2 seriously injured cases.

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