14.06.

2002: Asteroid Misses the Earth by only 120,000 Kilometers

2002: Asteroid Misses the Earth by only 120,000 Kilometers
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/Earth and the Moon were imaged by Mariner 10 from 2.6 million km while completing the first ever Earth–Moon encounter by a spacecraft capable of returning high-resolution digital color-image data

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 14 June 2001
  • If that asteroid had hit the Earth, an explosion almost 1,000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima atomic bomb would have occurred.

On this day in 2002, an asteroid came very close to the Earth, which was a quite dangerous situation.

The asteroid, which weighed 540,000 tons, missed the Earth by only 120,000 kilometers.

Previously, another asteroid, the 10-meter 1994 XM1, had come slightly closer to the Earth.

The aforementioned asteroid was named “2002 MN”. Its mass was about 2,450 times bigger than the mass of the heaviest American bombers (B-52).

If this asteroid had hit the Earth, an terrible explosion would have occurred (similar to the famous Tunguska catastrophe in 1908), almost 1,000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

For comparison, the Tunguska explosion destroyed about 80 million trees (the 215,000-hectare area).

But, that was an almost completely uninhabited part of Siberia. If the asteroid “2002 MN” had hit a populated area, an entire metropolis would have been destroyed.

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