'Tunguska'-size asteroid 2018 GE3 gives Earth surprise flyby

18 April, 2018, 03:14 | Author: Carmen Reese
  • Astronomers Say an Asteroid Snuck Up on Us and Almost Hit Earth Yesterday

EarthSky reported the asteroid, labelled 2018 GE3, came within about 192,300 kilometres of Earth at its closest point at 6.41pm on Sunday.

The last time a giant asteroid swept by within half the lunar distance was in 2002, reports CNET, when asteroid 2002 MN missed Earth by just 120,000 kilometers (74,564 miles) on June 14.

"It might make you feel better (or worse) to know that asteroids enter Earth's atmosphere unnoticed on a fairly regular basis". That's a little under half the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

The asteroid, dubbed 2018 GE3, passed by Earth at 2:41 EDT Sunday morning and was estimated to be between 157 to 361 feet in diameter.

A newly discovered asteroid the size of a football pitch skimmed past alarmingly close to Earth - and scientists hadn't spotted it in advance. Nevertheless, a few of an asteroid this size may have gotten across Earth's surface area, and an asteroid this huge can triggering some local damage, depending upon different elements such as structure, speed, entry angle, and area of effect.

More news: Israel says Iran drone downed in Feb was on attack mission

"More than 1,800 potentially hazardous objects have been discovered so far, but there are many more waiting to be found".

NASA estimates that the passerby visitor had a diameter of 48 to 110 meters, that is, three to six times as large as the other asteroid in 2013 that exploded over Chelyabinsk in Russian Federation, injuring more than 1,200 people and causing damage to buildings up to 93 km.

Illustration of the orbit of asteroid 2018 GE3.

A football-sized asteroid - labeled 2018 GE3 - buzzed by Earth on April 16, 2018.

"Nevertheless, it is a significant asteroid, illustrating how even large space rocks can still take us by surprise", the media outlet pointed out. According to the database maintained by NASA, there are only three asteroids of a similar size or superior to have been so close since the beginning of the twentieth century.

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