Asteroid buzzed Earth this weekend

Asteroid buzzed Earth this weekend

NASA tracks asteroids that make close approaches to Earth, providing data on the distance and estimated diameter of each object. You may have missed it though; humanity only learned of the asteroid hours before the flyby.

That's significantly smaller than the 2018 GE3 asteroid.

This asteroid is known as 2018 GE3 which was just 119,500 miles away from the Earth's atmosphere. 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. That's a little under half the distance between the Earth and the Moon. 2018 GE3 could be 5 to 6 times wider than that object.


If the asteroid had entered the Earth's atmosphere, it is likely that much of the space rock would have disintegrated, however a mass this large could have caused similar, if not more severe, damage. There really is no telling, as mapping the impact trajectories of objects crashing down to Earth is notoriously hard, and scientists were left with just a few hours to scramble for this one.

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.

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. "A 10-meter size object already packs the same energy as a nuclear bomb", Andrew Cheng, who led a 2000-2001 mission for NASA to orbit and land on an asteroid, told Fox News at the time. DART theoretically works by plunging into an asteroid and knocking it off its collision course.

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