Giant asteroid 2018 GE3 makes a surprise flyby past Earth on weekend


The orbit appears to extend to the inner part of the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

An asteroid whose size is about a football field fly close to the Earth on Sunday and it is said to be one of the closet encounters for the planets. 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. This asteroid is known as 2018 GE3 which was just 119,500 miles away from the Earth's atmosphere.

NASA has estimated that the asteroid is somewhere between 47 to 100 metres wide, meaning it is roughly 3.6 times the size of the one that cleared 2,000 square kilometres of forest when it exploded over Russia's Tunguska region in Siberia in 1908.

Asteroid 2018 GE3, an Apollo type asteroid, was flying through space at 66,174 miles per hour (106,497 km/h).

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The most disturbing thing about 2018 GE3 is that it wasn't spotted until it was very close to Earth, giving scientist little time to prepare or assess what the damage might be if the asteroid entered the atmosphere.

"However, some of an asteroid this size might have gotten through to Earth's surface, and 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", the space website explains.

Was Earth in danger?

The asteroid was first observed by the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey project, based at the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Lab in Tucson, Arizona.

"Nevertheless, it is a significant asteroid, illustrating how even large space rocks can still take us by surprise".