A 427-foot-wide asteroid with the potential to wipe out an entire city passed by the Earth earlier this week. However, the scientists and astronomers were not aware of the development until just days before it whizzed past the earth.
The rock, named Asteroid 2019 OK, flew just 45,000 miles (73,000 kilometers) from Earth, which is less than 20% of the distance between Earth and the moon, the Business Insider reported.
The asteroid took the scientists by surprise, as astronomy teams in the US and Brazil were able to detect it only on Wednesday when it was too close to the Earth's surface.
According to Forbes, Asteroid 2019 OK was able to dodge the scientists as it was relatively smaller in size, compared to other major asteroids. Also, the asteroid reflected light only when it was very close to the Earth, so the scientists had a small window to spot it using telescopes.
Astronomers have also claimed that the asteroid posed no immediate threat. However, they admitted that they should have spotted the giant space rock earlier, the VOX reported.
No one in the astronomy community was tracking the asteroid's movement, which was moving at the speed of 54,000 miles per hour. It appears as though it came "out of nowhere", told an astronomer to the Washington Post.
"It would have hit with over 30 times the energy of the atomic blast at Hiroshima," an astronomer professor told the Sydney Morning Herald. He also called the space rock a "city killer".
There are around 20,000 asteroids near Earth. Earlier in 2013, one asteroid slammed into Russia, injuring 1,600 people.