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An Asteroid Narrowly Missed Earth But Scientists Only Discovered It 3 Days After Passing

Had it hit Earth, Asteroid 2017 OO1 would have “leveled a large district in the city.”

An asteroid that has an estimated size of a passenger plane passed extremely close to Earth recently. What is alarming though is the fact that it had gone completely undetected until three days after it had passed the planet.

The massive space rock, dubbed Asteroid 2017 OO1, was spotted by the ATLAS-MLO telescope in Hawaii. It is said to be around 25 to 77 meters (82-256 feet) wide. With that size, it’s nearly thrice as large as the Chelyabinsk meteor that exploded over Russia years ago.

Now, should this be a cause for concern? Apparently, yes.

As stated, it’s comparably much bigger than the Chelyabinsk meteor that injured hundreds when it came crashing down to Earth in 2013.

If the recent asteroid had not missed, it would have probably “leveled a large district in a city, potentially injuring and killing thousands,” according to HuffPost. Fortunately, Asteroid 2017 OO1 flew past our planet at a distance of about 123,031 km (76,448 miles). While that’s a considerably safe distance, it is still a third of the distance between Earth and the moon.

Apart from the possible devastation it might have brought, it’s worrying that it had not been detected early. NASA scientists have increasingly warned of the dangers posed by space rocks and other objects lurking close to Earth undetected.

Even if many smaller asteroids in the Earth’s vicinity have been discovered already, we’re still pretty much at risk. Experts warn that we’re not yet prepared enough to deal with the catastrophe that these smaller space objects can cause.

In an interview, Asteroid Day founder Grigorij Richters discussed what people can learn from the late discovery of Asteroid 2017 OO1. He told IFLSScience:

Asteroid 2017 OO1 is an important reminder that we need to do a better job at detecting even small-sized asteroids early… Small asteroids can cause significant regional damage and we are the only species that can do something about this cosmic hazard. Just ask the dinosaurs!

What do you think? Should we invest more to ensure proper and early detection of asteroids? Share your comments below!


Ancient 99-Million-Year-Old Frogs Look Just Like Modern-Day Toads

Frogs will always be frogs, whether they were born today or in the Cretaceous Period.

The world is filled with exciting new discoveries from ancient times. Scientists have just uncovered evidence that frogs roamed the Earth during the Cretaceous Period about 100 million years ago. Interestingly, these ancient toads seem to look just like their modern-day descendants.

A new report confirms that scientists have found four frog fossils in northern Myanmar. The tiny bodies were encased in amber and offer a clear glimpse at what tropical rainforests looked like in the Cretaceous Period. In any case, the discovery is groundbreaking since frogs rarely become fossils.

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Elon Musk’s Flamethrowers Get Misused On Social Media Despite Strict Terms & Conditions

What better way to start a particularly hot summer?

There is little doubt that Elon Musk's flamethrowers are the hottest new commodity right now. After all, the fiery device produced by The Boring Company have just been sold out. However, it looks like consumers have already started misusing the dangerous product despite its lengthy terms and conditions.

The Boring Company finally rolled out Not A Flamethrower at a celebrated pick up event held at the company's headquarters. People who had pre-ordered the gadgets were given a chance to sample the power of the flamethrower on unfortunate marshmallows. Although safety was reinforced during the event, things took a dangerous turn once everyone got home.

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NASA’s Curiosity Rover Finds Ancient Organics On Mars, Possible Life On Planet In The Past

The new discovery might confirm life thrived on the Red Planet billions of years ago.

Curiosity has made an exciting discovery on the surface of Mars. The rover has just found possible evidence of life on the planet billions of years ago. NASA might not quite ready to confirm that creatures once roamed the Red Planet. Nevertheless, the agency believes that the findings could mean positive things for future missions.

The NASA rover has found organic molecules in sedimentary rocks near the planet's surface. These molecules may contain hydroxen, carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen and are usually associated with life. However, their presence in the billion-year-old rocks does not confirm life on Mars just yet.

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