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Old astronomer traces an asteroid missing the Earth

Editorial

Old astronomer traces an asteroid missing the Earth

I was listening to the radio a few days ago, and I heard a disturbing story. A centurion astronomer, whose name I did not get his name, while observing space in the last week, noticed an asteroid, nicknamed 2019 OK, hurtling towards and on a collision course with the Earth.

According to him, the size and the speed of the asteroid, was such that had it landed, it would have been with a force of an impact of 30 Hiroshima atomic bombs. It would have been an incalculable devastation on the planet. Fortunately, it missed the Earth by 78,000 miles; and that was, uncomfortably close.

I note two things: first of all, our precarious place in the solar system. One day, any of the thousands of the flying rocks will engage with the Earth, and with very destructive consequences.

Secondly, it is never too late to do ones profession. This fellow is 100 years old, but this has not led him to retire from observing the constellation. Moreover, he is the only one in the activity who noticed this. Where were the younger astronomers?

 

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