Researchers discovered on Saturday that an asteroid was headed towards Earth on Monday.
While millions of Americans around were getting ready for work, school, and essentially getting out of bed, an asteroid slipped right between Earth and moon. And scientists barely saw it coming.
Asteroid 2017 AG13 traveled between the Earth and the moon on Monday morning. What’s surprising is that researchers at the University of Arizona’s Catalina Sky Survey discovered 2017 AG13 on Saturday, just two days earlier. While the asteroid was relatively small, about 110 feet tall, the asteroid was only discovered a few days before heading towards earth.
While this news is pretty disturbing, the White House is already working on a way to prevent an asteroid from hitting earth. For example, this news comes after NASA researchers called for more measures to be implemented to protect humanity from an extinction level asteroid or comet collision. In response, the White House launched the ‘National Near Earth Object Preparedness Strategy’. The program will prevent “Near Earth Objects” such as asteroids and comets from colliding into planet Earth. In addition, the new preparedness strategy will provide triennial updates regarding plans on how to prepare, prevent and stop asteroids from crashing into the planet.
In addition, earlier this month NASA is planning on two asteroid missions in the near future. The first mission is called “Lucy” which will explore a set of asteroids that have existed for over 10 million years. The second mission is “Psyche” and NASA will investigate an asteroid orbiting between Mars and Jupiter. Ultimately, the goal of the NASA space mission is to get an inside looking at the physical properties of the solar system’s earliest heavenly bodies. But, it may take a little while before the results of the asteroid study are published. In all honesty, we will not have data on the asteroid missions for at least another ten years.