Days before it flew past Earth, an amateur astronomer spotted an imaginably hazardous asteroid heading towards the planet.
If the said object touched the Earth's surface, the thing could have created massive damage causing a global catastrophe. The potentially dangerous object flew past Earth at a safe distance at a range of 40 kilometers or over 100 times the distance from the moon going to the Earth.
Experts are still noting and reminding the public that a relatively enormous object could easily be missed as they approach the planet, they also repeatedly send warnings that not having a large-scale tracking, the planet could be at serious risk from these unexpected collisions, Independent reported.
The object which is officially known as the Asteroid 2020 QU6 was first spotted in the country of Brazil by Leonardo Amaral who works in the Campo Amarais observatory on August 27 but the object made its closest flyby past Earth last September 10.
Intended to spot unfamiliar objects before they even get to close on Earth, a host of advanced surveys are available for safety but according to the experts, the discovery is only a reminder that the said systems are not totally reliable, and there are a lot of other interesting and potentially dangerous objects that are just flying around and still waiting to be discovered.
Chief advocate and senior space policy adviser for the Planetary Society, Casey Dreier shared in a statement that this discovery was reminding us that even though we have already found most large Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) in space, still we have not found them all.
He also emphasized that we must continue to support ground-based astronomers and invest in new space-based capabilities just like the Near-Earth Objects Surveillance Mission or the NEOSM in order to have an alarm and protect Earth as soon as possible and especially in the future.
The United States Congress tasked NASA to locate and track 90 percent of the NEOs that have at least 140 meters or bigger in size by 2020. But the agency has struggled in doing so.
According to UNILAD, despite the appeals made by the agency for additional funding for the said project still, the Congress did not give them and as of now they have only found 40 percent of the said objects and are not expected to get the target numbers for the next 30 years.
The Planetary Society also cited that most of the major asteroid-hunting projects are based in the northern hemisphere which means that the Earth is more at risk as those NEOs that will be approaching from the southern part of the equator will be undetected.
Projects such as those from Mr. Amaral are key to detecting asteroids that might go missed.
The Asteroid 2020 QU6 is the latest object that flew past Earth after being spotted late on its approach. Those detections cause concern for they suggest that dangerous could arrive without even detecting it.
But one of the experts shared that instead of making it a concern we should make the discovery a cause for hope.