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A space rock passes near Earth and was not detected in time

A space rock passes near Earth and was not detected in time

News and politics30 Jun 24 15:08author: Philip van den Herk

Two large space rocks passed close to Earth this week, the “small” one measuring 200 metres in diameter, the larger one measuring more than two kilometres thick. The European Space Agency is concerned because the smaller one was only recently discovered. Space expert Rob van den Berg says the rock was only spotted 10 days ago, but both are passing Earth well.

A space rock passes near Earth and was not detected in time

The two-kilometre-thick rock passed close to Earth on Thursday, at a distance of about “seventeen times the distance from Earth to the Moon”. But the smaller rock is flying so close that, according to Van den Berg, it should be visible from Earth on Saturday: “This rock is flying between Earth and the Moon, and if you know where to look, you can see it with binoculars.”

“This was a space rock we didn’t know about, and yet it’s so close.”

Aviation expert Rob van den Berg

Well-founded fears

According to Van den Berg, the European Space Agency is concerned because it was not possible to observe the smaller rock “in a timely manner.” “We hope it has spotted all the potentially dangerous space rocks, so we knew nothing about it, and yet it is so close.” Fortunately, this time the rock flies at a safe distance.

According to van den Berg, smaller rocks burn up in the atmosphere every week, but larger rocks like the one pictured this week are the real dangers. “Rocks larger than a few feet can cause serious damage.” The last major meteorite impact was in 2013 over Russia, which involved a rock “several tens of meters” long. Even a rock that size is dangerous, says van den Berg, and several people have been injured in Russia.

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