The closest it came to Earth was just under 45,000 miles (72,500 km), a safe distance, but still much less than the distance between the Earth and Moon. While Earth gets a few asteroid visitors that buzz closer than the Moon every year, this one is the largest so far in 2019. So if 2019 OK had struck Earth, it could have delivered quite the blow to any city it struck, but would not have been a world-wide event. Often, NASA and other observatories spot asteroids the size of 2019 OK when they’re much farther from Earth, giving more lead time to understand and, if necessary, prepare for a meteor strike. But the bigger the asteroid, the harder it is to hide, and NASA is keeping their eyes open.
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