Giant asteroid makes surprise flyby, narrowly passes by Earth

Giant asteroid makes surprise flyby, narrowly passes by Earth

Giant asteroid makes surprise flyby, narrowly passes by Earth

Its closest point to Earth was just 119,500 miles (192,317 km) away.

The asteroid "2018 GE3", which was slightly larger than the one that exploded over Tunguska in Siberia in 1908, flattening 2,000 square kilometers of forest, passed at a distance of 192,300 kilometers, nearly half the distance of the Moon from Earth, according to the US Space Agency (NASA). The asteroids which are present in this belt do not pose any threat to the Earth.

The asteroid was discovered just one day before it flies close to the earth surface and this is what scientists are calling as " 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. Around 1500 people of Chelyabinsk in Russian Federation ware admitted to the hospital for minor injuries that caused by shuttered glass pieces when a medium-sized asteroid that exploded over the city in 2013.

Five years ago, the 10,000-ton, 56-foot Chelyabinsk meteor exploded over Russian Federation with the force of 30 atomic bombs.

"It doesn't take a very large object".

With an estimated diameter of 157 to 361 feet (48 to 110 meters), asteroid 2018 GE3 has about three to six times the diameter of the space rock that penetrated the skies over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in February 2013, causing more than 1,000 people to seek treatment for injuries, mostly from flying glass. The asteroid, designated 2018 GE3, made its closest approach to Earth at around 2.41 a.m. EDT on Sunday, according to a Space.com report. The almost undetected space rock flew by Earth at an estimated 66,174 miles per hour. If the asteroid had entered our atmosphere, a great portion of the space rock would have disintegrated due to friction with the air.

Similarly, in 1908, a small asteroid up to 190 metres in size exploded over Siberia's Tunguska which ruined woodlands across 800 miles.

Although, asteroids are hard to track, it's rare for one to come so close to Earth without being picked up well in advance.

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