Close Call: Giant Asteroid Flies Through the Earth-Moon Orbit
Close Call: Giant Asteroid Flies Through the Earth-Moon Orbit
An artist's concept of a"generic asteroid flyby. Credit Shutterstock
17 April, 2018, 05:47
That's nothing compared to asteroids that make up the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, which can measure to about 580 miles across, NASA explains on its website. A more current point of comparison is the Chelyabinsk meteor- a ~ 20-meter asteroid that blew up in the environment over Russian Federation on February 15, 2013, shattering windows and falling observers as a fireball brighter than the sun progressed in the blue early morning Ural sky.
The "medium-sized" space object is reportedly over three times the size of a meteor that entered the atmosphere over Russian Federation in 2013 and injured more than 1,000 people. The survey's task is to discover and track near-Earth objects.
The Chelyabinsk asteroid was undetected before it entered the atmosphere. 2018 GE3 was found by the Catalina Sky Study approaching Earth on April 14th. "A 10-meter size object already packs the same energy as a nuclear bomb", Andrew Cheng, who led a 2000-2001 mission for NASA to orbit and land on an asteroid, told Fox News at the time.
"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".
An asteroid came alarmingly close to striking the Earth on April 15, just hours after the large space rock was spotted flying through the solar system. Yesterday, an asteroid three to six times larger than that rock came out of nowhere and passed by the Earth at a distance of 119,500 miles, about half the distance to the moon-and scientists only had a few hours' warning before it closed in.
The intensity of the light reflected off of 2018 GE3 indicates that it's between 157 feet and 360 feet wide.
Wikipedia and other sources are now reporting that this is the largest asteroid to ever pass this close to Earth.
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