Close, but no city-smashing asteroid

Jul 29, 2019, 7:28 PM
Photo Courtesy, NASA

SALT LAKE CITY —  This is a story about what-ifs and maybes.

And, maybe, we should throw in a “whew” as well.

That’s because Earth dodged a bullet last week.

Or more accurately it dodged, an asteroid. Or an asteroid dodged the Earth, either way, it didn’t happen.

But the real story to tell is why didn’t we hear about the asteroid, named 2019 OK, sooner?  Usually, if an asteroid is approaching Earth or is about to approach Earth there are a lot of smart people that know about it and they talk about it.

People like Patrick Wiggins, Utah’s own Solar System Ambassador. He spoke with KSL Newsradio’s Grant Nielsen Monday afternoon and equated the approach of this asteroid to the way bad guys came into the picture in old-timey westerns:  in the same direction as the sun.

“A big old rock is traveling towards us but because it’s coming from the direction of the sun we couldn’t see it coming,” Wiggins told KSL Newsradio. “We did see it a day or so out, but that wouldn’t have been enough time even if it was going to impact.”

According to the SONEAR Observatory in Brazil first reported the asteroid on July 24th. They say it was between 187 and 426 feet. In other words, a “city killer.”

“It certainly would have made a lot of noise. A big concussion reaching the ground. Whether or not any of the big pieces would reach the ground … it would have broken up on the way through,” said Wiggins.

“But if it had been a solid iron asteroid that hit a city? Yeah, that’d be really bad!”

And Wiggins left KSL Newsradio listeners, and fill-in host Grant Nielsen, with this tidbit.

“This makes the twelfth asteroid that’s come closer than the moon in the last twelve months!”

But take heart! NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has established a Planetary Defense Coordination Office that looks for ways to deflect an asteroid from a predicted impact with Earth.

Still, some so-called Near Earth Objects are too small to detect.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

One person is dead following a three vehicle crash in Sanpete County around 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Ja...
Waverly Golden

Three vehicle crash in Sanpete County leaves one dead

One person is dead following a three vehicle crash in Sanpete County around 7:30 p.m. on Friday, January 28.
19 hours ago
Tyre Nichols Protests...
Nouran Salahieh, Jamiel Lynch, Chuck Johnston, Shawn Nottingham, Andy Rose and Phil Gast, CNN

More protests today after release of video depicting the deadly police beating of Tyre Nichols

Protesters across the US heldmarches & rallies on Saturday, one day after the release of video showing the police beating of Tyre Nichols in Memphis.
19 hours ago
Gov. Spencer Cox covered a broad range of issues Thursday night at the State of the State Address. ...
Chandler Holt

Governor Spencer Cox signs transgender bill, releases statement

Gov. Spencer Cox released a statement on the transgender bill, that would ban transgender-related surgeries and puberty blockers for minors, on Saturday.
19 hours ago
Temperatures dropping weather worsens...
Allison Chinchar, CNN Meteorologist

‘Dangerous’ arctic air returns this weekend after a month-long hiatus

What has been a mild start to 2023 will come to a halt this weekend as winter makes a roaring comeback across the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest.
19 hours ago
Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, talks about SB117, which he is sponsoring, during a Senate Judicia...
Devin Oldroyd

Two Republicans voted against bill banning transgender-related surgery, here’s why

The Utah Senate has approved a bill banning transgender-related surgery and puberty blockers for minors. A total of two Republicans voted against it.
2 days ago
Rabbi Avremi Zippel talks to the crowd during halftime of a Jazz-Portland Trail Blazers game at Viv...
Mark Jones

International Holocaust Remembrance Day: Area rabbi shares his thoughts

Rabbi Avremi Zippel joined Inside Sources Friday to discuss International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Close, but no city-smashing asteroid