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'Tunguska'-size asteroid 2018 GE3 gives Earth surprise flyby

18 April 2018

An asteroid the size of a football field buzzed by Earth Sunday in one of the closest encounters the planet has seen in a while. "A couple of times a week, on average, an asteroid will come closer than the distance to the Moon, but most of those are hunks about the size of a bus or maybe a house".

EarthSky reports the asteroid's closest approach to our planet was from 119,500 miles out, or less than half the distance to the moon at about 2:41 a.m. Sunday. While most asteroids stay within the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, others pass by the Earth but aren't detected because they are typically small and dark. Those asteroids, however, pose no threat to Earth.

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"2018 GE3 was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey approaching Earth on April 14th".

The 2018 GE3 asteroid was discovered just one day before it skimmed past Earth in what scientists are calling a "surprise" flyby. 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. According to a report, an asteroid may be broken into pieces while entering the earth atmosphere but this size asteroids won't do so.

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This newfound asteroid is nearly three to six times bigger than another recent meteor which broke up over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2013.

Was Earth in risk from 2018 GE3?

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The giant asteroid, estimated to be between 47 and 100 metres in width, was flew by Earth at a speed of 106,000 kilometres per hour. "Should the 2018 GE3 have impacted Earth, it would have caused a significant amount of damage, however, it would have been regional, not global damage", a space and weather website reported. Had 2018 GE3 been just a little closer, scientists and officials would have had little warning once the space rock plunged into the Earth's atmosphere.

'Tunguska'-size asteroid 2018 GE3 gives Earth surprise flyby