Earth just had a close call, and astronomers didn’t even know about it until after the threat had passed. Asteroid 2019 OK, big enough to decimate an entire city, flew by. Read on to see what NASA could do about it in the future.
A brain-eating amoeba living in warm freshwaters is a concern this summer. See how to avoid an infection below.
And you can leave your plastic Costco card at home the next time you head out to do some shopping.
Here’s what you need to know in the daily roundup.
TOP STORY: ‘City-Killer’ Asteroid Just Missed Earth
An asteroid large enough to have demolished an entire city just flew close to Earth. According to NASA, the space rock is called Asteroid 2019 OK. It passed within 45,000 miles of Earth, which is about one-fifth of the distance to the moon. Astronomers didn’t know it was coming.
The asteroid measures between 187 to 427 feet wide. Astronomer Michael Brown says Asteroid 2019 OK would have caused horrific damage if it had struck Earth. He told the Washington Post, “It would have gone off like a very large nuclear weapon. Many megatons, perhaps in the ballpark of 10 megatons of TNT, so something not to be messed with.”
To put this into perspective, the meteor that hit the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in 2013 was substantially smaller, measuring about 65 feet wide. More than 1,200 people were injured as roofs collapsed and windows shattered in that event.
Astronomers said Asteroid 2019 OK was traveling about 54,000 miles per hour. That speed made it difficult to detect. NASA explains on its website that if an asteroid was headed toward Earth, and astronomers spotted it early enough, “it could be possible to divert its path using the gravity of a spacecraft.” NASA says the process would take years.
WHAT’S BUZZING THAT HAS EVERYONE TALKING: How to Avoid Infection From a Brain-Eating Amoeba
A North Carolina man, identified as Eddie Gray, recently died after he was infected by a brain-eating amoeba. He got it while swimming at the Fantasy Lake Water Park in Cumberland County.
The tragedy has people buzzing about where the organism comes from and how to avoid getting it. The amoeba, scientific name Naegleria fowleri, rarely infects humans but the infection is often deadly.
According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the amoeba is found in warm freshwaters, such as lakes and rivers. You won’t get sick if you swallow the amoeba. Instead, the danger arises when water is forced up your nose. That’s how the infection makes its way to your brain.
Health officials recommend holding your nose or using a nose clip when swimming in freshwater lakes. When it’s hot outside, it’s safest to swim in a chlorinated pool or in seawater to avoid the risk of contracting the brain-eating amoeba.
OFF-BEAT: Costo Digital Cards Mean You Don’t Always Need the Plastic Version
Forgot your Costco card at home? It’s no longer a problem. The popular retailer now says that shoppers in the U.S. and Canada can use a digital version on their phones, the company shared on Instagram.
Costco has updated its apps for iPhone and Android devices to allow customers to pay for purchases using just their smartphones. However, Apple users cannot add the digital membership card to the Wallet app.
And you’ll still need the plastic Costco card to get gasoline. The digital version doesn’t yet work at gas stations.
DAILY NEWS ROUNDUP
- Brothers Nicholas and Justin Diemel from Wisconsin vanished without a trace while on a business trip to look at livestock.
- Tiffany McLemore is the woman who hit her husband with a laptop computer on board an American Airlines flight from Miami to Los Angeles.
- False alarm: The University of Central Florida Police Department apologized for causing “undue panic” after encountering a person with a BB gun on campus.
- “Once Upon a Time” star Gabe Khouth passed away at age 46.
- The merger deal between T-Mobile and Sprint has gotten the green light of approval.
UPDATE TO A STORY WE’VE BEEN FOLLOWING: The Equifax Data Breach Settlement
There are a few extra details you should know about the Equifax data breach settlement. For starters, if you’re not sure if your personal information was compromised in the 2017 data breach, find out here. It takes just a few seconds.
Nearly half of Americans were impacted by the hack and Equifax will pay hundreds of millions of dollars to customers to settle lawsuits. Customers can choose to receive a $125 payout by filing a claim by January 22, 2020. According to CNBC, that process takes only about one minute. But you’ll want to do it sooner rather than later, because the payouts may decrease as more people sign up for it.
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