Massive asteroid 2017 AG13 flew by Earth, within half the distance that the moon is

A space rock known as asteroid 2017 AG13 was discovered to be flying-by from Earth, at a distance that is half the distance that separates our planet from the moon on Monday, says Business Insider. According to Slooh, a company that broadcasts live views of space, the asteroid was discovered by the University of Arizona only last Saturday.

Asteroid 2017 AG13 measures between 50-111 feet long and when it was grazing past Earth, it was at moving at a speed of 16km/second.

According to Eric Feldman, an astronomer with Slooh, the near-Earth object (NEO) was moving really quickly and had actually crossed the orbits of two planets – Venus and Earth. He made these observations while live broadcasting the flyby at 7.47AM ET (6.17PM IST).

Purdue University’s Impact Earth simulator studied the 2017 AG13 and stated that it wouldn’t be very bad if it entered the Earth’s atmosphere. According to the researchers working on the simulator, a porous rock of around 111 feet would explode as an airburst some 10 miles above the ground level. The burst would however would release around 700 kiloton’s of energy, which is 10 times as powerful than the one generated after the Hiroshima bombings. But since it would occur at 10 miles over the surface, it would not have any major effect on ground.

Slooh on the other hand stated that 2017 AG13 was the same size as that of asteroid Chelyabinsk which struck Russia in 2013 and led to on the ground effects such as shattered windows and mildly damaged building. AG13, if it did explore could have had similar outcome says Slooh.

READ  Microsoft is testing a fix for one of the most annoying things about Windows 10