An asteroid dubbed a ‘city-killer’ narrowly missed colliding with the Earth on Thursday, scientists have revealed.
Asteroid 2019 OK - around 100 metres in diameter and racing at 24 kilometres a second - flew past Earth at around 11.22am on Thursday morning.
Astronomers had no idea the rock was coming due to the asteroid flying towards us from the direction of the sun.
— ASAS-SN (@SuperASASSN) July 25, 2019
Associate Professor Michael Brown, from Monash University, said: “It’s impressively close. I don’t think it’s quite sunk in yet. It’s a pretty big deal.
"[If it hit Earth] it makes the bang of a very large nuclear weapon – a very large one."
Three other asteroids also hurtled past Earth on Thursday, but none were as close or as large as 2019 OK.
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The asteroid was picked up by separate astronomy teams based in Brazil and the US over the past few days.
Swinburne University astronomer Associate Professor Alan Duffy: "It would have hit with over 30 times the energy of the atomic blast at Hiroshima.
"It's a city-killer asteroid. But because it's so small, it's incredibly hard to see until right at the last minute.
"It's threading tightly between the lunar orbit. Definitely too close for comfort."