Thursday, 24 May, 2018

Massive Football Field-Sized Asteroid Comes Close to Earth in Surprise Flyby

How a Football Field Size Asteroid Caught Us by Surprise An artist's concept of a"generic asteroid flyby. Credit Shutterstock
Sherry Houston | 18 April, 2018, 03:21

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. Closest approach to Earth occurred at around 2:41 a.m. EDT (6:41 UTC; translate UTC to your time) on April 15.

The people of Earth were not even get notified about warehouse sized Astroid that passed the Earth in the range of half the distance of the Moon on Sunday. The asteroids which are present in this belt do not pose any threat to the Earth.

This GE3 is much bigger than that of 2013 asteroid but was first observed by the Catalina Sky Survey few hours before passing the earth.

The 2018 GE3 asteroid was discovered just one day before it skimmed past Earth in what scientists are calling a "surprise" flyby. "Hours later, amateur astronomer Michael Jäger of Weißenkirchen Austria video-recorded the space rock gliding through the southern constellation Serpens", Spaceweather.com reported. 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.

Had the object, first observed at the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona on Saturday, moving at a speed of some 66,174 miles per hour (106,497 km/h), hit the Earth, its impact would be hard to imagine. According to a report, an asteroid may be broken into pieces while entering the earth atmosphere but this size asteroids won't do so.

Asteroid 2018 GE3 is said to have an estimated diameter of between 157 and 361 feet, which makes it at least three times the size of the space rock that flew over Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013. But according to Andrew Rader, a researcher and engineer at SpaceX, 2018 GE3 is "vast enough to destroy a city".

If asteroid 2018 GE3 had hit Earth, a great portion of the space rock might have disintegrated.

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