Football field-sized asteroid zooms dangerously close to Earth

Football field-sized asteroid zooms dangerously close to Earth

When an asteroid estimated to be about the size of a football field zoomed past Earth early Sunday, April 15, astronomers had only discovered it a couple of hours before. That's closer than the moon, which orbits Earth at an average distance of 238,900 miles.

The 110-metre long asteroid, which has been dubbed 2018 GE3 by NASA, shot by just 192,500km away - half the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

Only a handful of scientists at NASA detected the asteroid as little as 21 hours before it crossed Earth by a narrow margin. Scientists have assured that the asteroid is a potential threat to the Earth, and his course does not involve a direct meeting and clash with the Blue planet.

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SpaceWeather.com reports asteroid 2018 GE3 was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey on Saturday. The largest known asteroid is the Center with a diameter of 530 km.

Just a day after being discovered dangerously close and approaching Earth, an asteroid, potentially capable of causing significant damage, has darted past our planet almost missing it on an astronomical scale.

This newfound asteroid is nearly three to six times bigger than another recent meteor which broke up over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2013. And that particular asteroid was estimated to have produced about 185 times more energy than the Hiroshima atomic bomb, the report said.

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Earthsky.org reported: "An Apollo type earth-crossing asteroid, was flying through space at 66,174 miles per hour".

"An asteroid this big is capable of causing some regional damage, depending on various factors such as composition, speed, entry angle, and location of impact". It may make you feel much better (or even worse) to understand that asteroids get in Earth's environment undetected on a relatively routine basis. But according to Andrew Rader, a researcher and engineer at SpaceX, 2018 GE3 is "vast enough to destroy a city".

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