Asteroids flying at a distance closer than 400 thousand kilometers from the Earth are of interest to astronomers. At the same time, the probability of an asteroid colliding with a planet is not so high, although such a scenario cannot be ruled out. Georgy Goncharov, an astronomer and leading researcher at the Main Astronomical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Vechernaya Moskva about this.
As the expert noted, there are many unfounded speculations about the danger of asteroids.
– If an asteroid flies at a distance of a million or ten million kilometers, this is nothing at all. Dangerous distance – as to the moon, 400 thousand kilometers. If the moon is closer, it is already interesting. It’s not even dangerous, it’s just interesting. It’s pointless to even discuss what’s next,” the specialist explained.
According to the interlocutor of “VM”, asteroids regularly fall to Earth in the form of meteorites. However, they are not talked about, since a significant part of the planet is not inhabited by people, the astronomer specified.
Mankind has already had the opportunity to verify what happens when a meteorite falls in a populated area, the specialist noted.
— We all remember the Chelyabinsk meteorite. This is close to the minimum of how much harm an asteroid can do. 100–200 meters is a disaster on a mainland scale. Under this are sharpened the efforts of those who look into the sky. It can be said with some degree of certainty: everything that is larger than 300 meters and that can fly closer than the Moon is known. In 2029, the asteroid Apophis will fly past the Earth, for example. This is the most interesting, but also harmless. There is a whole science to protect against asteroids, but I do not share the enthusiasm of such people. Because people live in few places and notice almost nothing,” the expert explained.
As the interlocutor of “VM” noted, there is a list of asteroids that have already flown between the Moon and the Earth. This list is many tens of times larger than the list of asteroids expected at such a distance. However, one should not be sure that humanity will never repeat the fate of dinosaurs, the expert said.
Asteroid SS2, which was recently reported by the media, does not pose a threat to humanity, the astronomer noted.
– The distance from SS2 to the Earth is twice as far as the Moon. There is nothing terrible. This is another case when you want to talk about something, but there is nothing to talk about. It is pointless to discuss anything beyond 400,000. One journalist found, the rest pick up. But these asteroids live there. It can’t even be considered an event. The number of already discovered asteroids goes into many thousands, and there are still a lot of undiscovered ones. If we catch on to everyone, we will miss our loved ones, ”concluded Goncharov.
Potentially dangerous asteroid 2022 SS2 about 10-20 meters in size approached the Earth at a distance of two lunar orbit radii. This was reported in the international network of telescopes of the IPM named after Keldysh RAS on Tuesday, September 20.