Giant asteroid 2018 GE3 makes a surprise flyby past Earth on weekend

How a Football Field Size Asteroid Caught Us by Surprise

An artist's concept of a"generic asteroid flyby. Credit Shutterstock

Little did people, including scientists at NASA know that a massive asteroid, the size of a football field, came really close to Earth. Closest approach to Earth occurred at around 2:41 a.m. EDT (6:41 UTC; translate UTC to your time) on April 15. The estimated diameter of the space rock ranged from 131 to 328 feet, CNEOS reports. The asteroids which are present in this belt do not pose any threat to the Earth. Anyway, it is a close call but it had made any minor contact with the Earth's surface than it will be more painful to read this story that explains the deaths and destructions.

The asteroid was first observed by the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey project, based at the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Lab in Tucson, Arizona. That's about three to six times wider than the space rock that penetrated the Earth's atmosphere in 2013 and exploded over the city of Chelyabinsk in Russian Federation, packing 20 to 30 times the energy of the Hiroshima atomic bomb, notes EarthSky.

Andrew Cheng, who led the NASA mission during the year 2000-2001 told Fox News that "It doesn't take a very large object".

The April asteroid, however, traveling at a speed of about 66,000 miles per hour, would have likely broken down "due to friction with the air" as soon as it entered Earth's atmosphere, EarthSky reported. This sized Astroid may make some regional damage according to its speed, angle and impact location.

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Last week, Sputnik reported that NASA is scrambling to track 17,000 big near-Earth objects (NEOs), including asteroids.

"According to Wikipedia, 2018 GE3 is the largest known asteroid to pass that close to Earth in observational history", Jäger said, according to NASA Spaceweather.

The intensity of the light reflected off of 2018 GE3 indicates that it's between 157 feet and 360 feet wide.

A giant asteroid gave Earth a surprise close shave this week, flying by at a distance of 192,000 kilometers, just a day after astronomers discovered the object, scientists say.

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