NASA internal emails reveal that experts are not detecting an asteroid the size of a football field until it is about to miss Earth this summer.
In emails received from BuzzFeed News requesting the Freedom of Information Act, NASA officials asked each other how the asteroid, called "2019 OK," evaded detection until the observatory in Brazil announced it on July 24 – the same day as it passed through our planet.
In the electronic circuit Paul Chodas, NASA Governor, the Center for Earth Studies has asked two questions: first, "why in 201
" BTW, everything for context only, it looks like 2019 OK is the biggest asteroid [to] going so close to Earth over the last century! "Planetary Defense Officer Lindley Johnson said in a follow-up email."  NASA experts have determined that a combination of factors ultimately caused the agency to miss it, including the position of the moon, bad weather, and the slow-moving nature of the asteroid.
"So this was just a particularly mean asteroid? Chodas asked. "I wonder how many times it has happened without the asteroid being discovered at all."
Johnson says in an email that this omission is "an interesting story about the limitations of our current inquiry network."
The incident highlights
] NASA experts have also expressed dissatisfaction with the way Australian scientists and the media sensitize the asteroid, describing it as a "city killer".
"It may be useful to ask them to think before they talk (about nuclear explosions and the like ..)," reads an email from a processed sender.
"Everyone else – including WaPo – is just a repeat. .. This story also tells me that we need to keep up the good work to calm the asteroid rhetoric. Killers of cities, nuclear weapons and more. "
According to a NASA OK 2019 news release last month, if the asteroid hits Earth, it would create" localized devastation to an area approximately 50 miles everywhere. " If he had fallen in the ocean, it would have been "a bad day for any floating craft in the area", but it is doubtful he would have caused a tsunami.
The chances of an asteroid of this size to hit Earth is "only in the order of once every few thousand years," Hodas said.
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