It’s called “2019 OK” and on July 25, 2019 it got the Arecibo observatory’s team of astronomers well scared. The space object appeared from a blind spot on Earth, which was in conflict with the sun, making it extremely difficult to detect.
Fortunately, she wasn’t in our way, but the opportunity to study her got the scientists moving so quickly that they only had 30 minutes to collect as many radar readings as possible. The asteroid was traveling so fast that it was all the time he would spend on the sights of Arecibo.
“It was a real challenge,” says Zambrano Marin, a planetary scientist at the University of California. “No one saw it until it was completely gone, so when we got the alert, we had very little time to work. However, we were able to get a lot of valuable information.”
Arecibo data (which no longer exists after the crash of 2020) is still available and is being studied to this day.
The asteroid was between 0.06 and 0.13 kilometers in diameter and was moving fast. It rotated for 3 to 5 minutes, which means it’s a fraction of only 4.2% of known fast-rotating asteroids. This is a growing group that scientists believe needs more attention. According to the data, the asteroid is likely to be a type C, which consists of clay and silicate rocks, or a type S, which consists of silicates and nickel iron.
The Zambrano-Marin team and the rest of the Arecibo team are working to provide the scientific community with more information about the many types of asteroids in the solar system to help make contingency plans.
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