Our planet is once again fantastically lucky. On Friday, the asteroid flew just 8.5 thousand kilometers from us. This is closer than the fixed satellites you use to watch TV. For comparison: the Moon is at a distance of 300 thousand kilometers.
This asteroid (it was named 2022 FD1) entered the top 5 minor planets that have ever “scratched” the Earth’s neighborhood. The closest flew on November 14, 2020 (383 km).
Could we have done something to prevent possible impact? No. The asteroid was discovered just 11 hours before the flyby. During such a time, it is impossible to fire a rocket or send a satellite at it in order to at least deflect the trajectory.
Despite the fact that astronomers have armed themselves with robotic telescopes that examine the sky without human intervention and analyze the picture themselves, there are many asteroids, but few of us. And we cannot notice dangerous objects on the distant approaches.
A global catastrophe would not have happened. The size of the asteroid was three meters. But what if we don’t spot an asteroid several hundred kilometers in diameter?