Any time you think that your government is there to protect you or keep you informed, you need to rethink a few historical facts. First, Roosevelt knew the Japs were going to bomb Pearl Harbor at least 3 weeks before they did. Second, Clinton, knew there was a plot to blow-up the WTC more than a month before terrorist tried and failed. And finally, In the last five years, the Earth has almost been struck by random asteroids at least 200 times with no less than 15 near misses in the last month.
But did you know the most recent time was just this morning? That’s right, today while many of you slept, a car-size asteroid was caught on camera just before it approached within 10,100 miles of Earth. For the record, that is less than half the distance around the Earth at the equator.
While this piece of rock was not a planet killer, the 12-foot-wide chuck of nickle and iron would definitely have messed up somebody’s day. The rock, named 2017 GM, whipped by at 11.5 miles per second compared to Earth early this morning. Scientists at the Mount Lemmon Survey in Arizona first spotted the asteroid yesterday, and researchers with Virtual Telescope Project and Tengara Observatories also snapped a photo before its closest approach with an Arizona telescope.
Based on its orbit, the little asteroid likely last passed by Earth in March 1961, according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. However, it was much farther away that time — about 93 times the average Earth-moon distance, . It whipped far out after that, but eventually swung by Mars and Venus in 2013 and 2014, respectively, before making its way back to Earth. It’s the 15th object to make a close approach to Earth this month, and it came by far the closest to our planet, according to the NASA data.
In March, a 10-foot-wide object approached Earth some 1,000 miles closer and like asteroid, 2017 GM, it came in closer than satellites in high Earth orbit. Now ask yourself, just how many of these “Little Rocks” have you heard about before they came in for a quick glance at our blue marble?