Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Science | By Joan Schultz

Earth Has Near Miss With Asteroid Spotted Just Hours Earlier

Earth Has Near Miss With Asteroid Spotted Just Hours Earlier

The asteroid, named Asteroid 2018 GE3, was closest to Earth at around 2.41 a.m. ET on April 15 when it was spotted about 119,500 miles away, EarthSky.org reports. The asteroids which are present in this belt do not pose any threat to the Earth.

"2018 GE3 was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey approaching Earth on April 14th". Some hours later, Spaceweather.com reported that an amateur astronomer Michael Jager of Weibenkirchen Austria has posted the video of the asteroid that was recorded when asteroid fly past through the southern constellation Serpens.

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 Chelyabinsk asteroid was undetected before it entered the atmosphere.

Had it entered the atmosphere, a great portion of the asteroid would have broken up, but some might have made it through to the Earth's surface, EarthSky says.

Andrew Cheng, who led the NASA mission during the year 2000-2001 told Fox News that "It doesn't take a very large object".

It was also incredibly fast-it was traveling at a speed of 66,174 miles per hour, or Mach 86.

"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".

That's significantly smaller than the 2018 GE3 asteroid.

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.

A preliminary analysis of the orbit of 2018 GE shows this is the closest this particular space rock has come to Earth at least since 1930. That's closer than the moon, which orbits Earth at an average distance of 238,900 miles.

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