A potentially disastrous asteroid merely brushed past Earth, according to a former presidential consultant — noting that the asteroid was massive enough and was similar to the one that wiped out the dinosaurs.
The warning was delivered by Douglas McKinnon who served in the White House under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. In July, an asteroid 2019 OK, nicknamed “city killer,” was shot within 40,000 miles away from Earth.
Writing in The Hill, McKinnon said: “Thanks to the collective failure of our world leaders, our only defense today against such an event is dumb luck. On this issue, every leader around the world is in gross dereliction of duty to the people they purport to lead.”
Furthermore, McKinnon urged that world leaders should stop turning a blind eye from the potentially deadly risks and not only put their focus and energy with what’s here on the Earth’s surface but also what lies from the beyond.
Scientists failed to detect 2019 OK until it was close to Earth noting that the sun obscured the asteroid. According to McKinnon, NASA has a record of missing asteroids less than 500 feet long.
He claims one of these could “wipe out a city, a region or a small country and kill millions in the process.”
The former Presidential advisor commented: “So far, only the fickle whims of the universe have prevented the unimaginable. But soon our luck could run out, and Earth will be shaken to its core. President Trump and all world leaders should immediately focus on solutions.”
However, scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson says large space rocks, like the 1990 MU, which measures almost 5 miles in diameter, should not phase us. Instead, the American astrophysicist has insisted the public should be more concerned about smaller asteroids that have the potential to sneak under the radar unnoticed.
Appearing on a Joe Rogan podcast last year, Dr. Tyson explained how it is easy to defend Earth against threats we can easily see.
He said: “It’s all about how much timing we have, what you want to do is go out and nudge it. You just have to give it a sideways velocity relative to its path towards Earth. If you do that, the sideways velocity sort of accumulates and the angle grows.”
In other words, Tyson says that to avoid getting hit by an asteroid hurtling towards Earth, all we need to do is go out into space and plan a method that would knock it off its course; big enough that when it nears our planet, it would completely miss.
“If you do that early enough it will miss Earth, but it’s still out there to harm you on another day,” he said. Additionally, we would at least be able to create such a device in 10 years or so.
However, the Harvard University graduate offered more dim prospects for smaller asteroids, arguing that the good thing about asteroids — big enough to wipe out entire species — is that they are large and visible. In consequence, NASA or any other space agency will only detect the relatively smaller, yet city-killing ones too late and would smash right into our planet.
Notably, most of the Earth’s surface is comprised of water, so most probably, it would hit the ocean instead of directly hitting cities. However, that does not technically mean that the human species would completely be out of harm’s way.
Tyson warned in 2008 that in the event where an asteroid crashes into the Pacific Ocean, it would create a hole with a depth of three miles, at which point it explodes, creating an even wider hole in the Pacific in a hole that’s approximately three miles wide.
“Oceans don’t like having holes in them, so this three-mile-high wall does what? It collapses. It falls back into the hole sloshing against itself with such ferocity that it rises high into the atmosphere and falls back down to the ocean, caveating it again,” he said, adding that “this cycle takes about 50 seconds, you can calculate it.”
That result will be a massive tsunami wave outwards from that location that is 50 feet high. “It’s April 12, 2029, and if it threads the keyhole it will hit Earth on April 13, 2036,” Tyson said.