As it turns out, the planet earth just narrowly missed extinction on September 5.
Discovered by China’s Purple Mountain Laboratory, the interstellar space rock passed our planet by a narrow 4,491,320 miles back on September 5.
Sure, those are a lot of numbers. However, when put into context, the 4 million or so miles is close enough to make quite a few astronomers worried.
Known as 2009ES, the asteroid is one of the other 1,600 asteroids that’s known as “minor bodies”. These orbit rather close to Earth, which prompted scientists to monitor them closely to see if their flight path ever changes.
It’s common for asteroids to change their course. Often, this happens when the gravity of other planets interferes with their orbit. In such cases, the asteroids are often flung hard to other planets, although they rarely hit, as 2009ES proves.
Should 2009ES have collided with the earth, scientists estimated that an asteroid as big as 10,000 meters would have released as much energy as 3 billion atomic bombs.
Many astronomers believe that something like this happened around 65 million years ago. This is where the “asteroid wiping out the dinosaurs” theory comes from.
From 2012, to y2k, SARS, swine flu, and many other diseases, humans deserve props for doing extremely well in the face of possible extinction.