After just 21 hours after the asteroid was observed in the laboratory in Arizona, it is closer to Earth at a distance of less than 200 thousand kilometers. The estimated diameter of the space rock ranged from 131 to 328 feet, CNEOS reports. The orbit appears to extend to the inner part of the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Those asteroids, however, pose no threat to Earth. The survey's task is to discover and track near-Earth objects.
According to EarthSky.org, Asteroid 2018 GE3 could be as much as six times bigger than the Chelyabinsk meteorite, which exploded over central Russian Federation in 2013.
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.
The Chelyabinsk asteroid was undetected before it entered the atmosphere.
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.
A medium-sized asteroid surprised astronomers with an unexpected near miss of the Earth on the weekend. However, an asteroid this size is capable of causing some regional damage, depending on various factors such as composition, speed, entry angle, and location of impact.
Space.com said 2018 GE3 was up to 3.6 times the size of the space rock that levelled 2000sq km of Siberian forest when it exploded over Siberia in June 1908. It's half the distance to the moon and it's at this distance from the Earth that an asteroid has passed, on Sunday, April 15th. But according to Andrew Rader, a researcher and engineer at SpaceX, 2018 GE3 is "vast enough to destroy a city".
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.
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