An arena-sized asteroid capable of destroying large amounts of life on Earth was spotted by an amateur astronomer just days before it safely flew by at about 10 moon distances.
The object officially dubbed 2020 QU6 was first discovered by an amateur astronomer in Brazil named Leonardo Amaral.
“The object would have created global devastation if it smashed into Earth. But it flew past at a safe distance, at a range of 40 million kilometers or more than 100 times the distance between the Earth and the moon,” the Independent reports. “Still, experts have noted that it is a reminder that relatively large objects could easily be missed as they approach Earth, and repeated warnings that without large-scale tracking the planet could be at risk from unexpected collisions.”
To add icing on the cake, many earth-based telescopes designed to track near-earth earthbound objects currently remain shut down due to COVID-19. Not to mention the Arecibo telescope has suffered extensive damage after a cable snapped and is also currently out of commission in what seems to be one of the most vulnerable times for our planet.