An asteroid two meters in diameter, about the size of a refrigerator, step only 3,047 kilometers from the surface of our planet on October 24 without being detected by astronomers.
The fireball, identified as 2021 UA1, flew over Antarctica at a speed of 57,000 kilometers per hour, according to information from the Catalina Sky Survey.
According to experts, an asteroid of this size does not represent any danger, since when it approaches the Earth’s atmosphere, it will most likely burn and disintegrate in contact with it, without affecting the surface. What is truly worrisome, however, is that an asteroid will get so close to our planet and no one would notice until he had passed by.
According to astronomer Tony Dunn, what surprised scientists is that during the day the asteroid was behind the Sun and its approach to Earth was undetectable.
A simulation shared on the network shows how close it was.
Newly-discovered #asteroid 2021 UA1 missed Antarctica by only 3000 km Sunday evening.It came from the daytime sky, so it was undiscoverable prior to closest approach.https://t.co/Y0zY7mAYuepic.twitter.com/R9VpMo2X9G
— Tony Dunn (@tony873004) October 27, 2021
This is reportedly the third asteroid to have passed this close to Earth, after 2020 HQ and 2020 VT4 approached last year, both small enough to pose a threat to the planet.