Giant asteroid 2018 GE3 makes surprise fly-by past Earth

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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.

Designated 2018 GE3, made its closest approach to Earth at around 0641 GMT on April 15 (12.11 am, April 16 in Indian Standard Time) whizzing by at about half the average distance between Earth and the moon, according to NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS).

According to NASA, it posted on its website that it is nothing as compared to asteroids which are present in between the Mars and Jupiter, whose length can spread across 580 miles. Those asteroids, however, pose no threat to Earth.

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.

Had the object, first observed at the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona on Saturday, moving at a speed of some 66,174 miles per hour (106,497 km/h), hit the Earth, its impact would be hard to imagine.

EarthSky.org said that 2018 GE3 could be as much as six times larger than the Chelyabinsk meteorite, which exploded in 2013 over central Russian Federation. Perhaps he would disintegrate in the atmosphere before reaching the ground.

An asteroid was streaking toward Earth. "A 10-meter size object already packs the same energy as a nuclear bomb".

The April asteroid, however, traveling at a speed of about 66,000 miles per hour, would have likely broken down "due to friction with the air" as soon as it entered Earth's atmosphere, EarthSky reported. Nevertheless, it is a significant asteroid, illustrating how even large space rocks can still take us by surprise. "2018 GE3 has been found in less than a day before convergence", - underline astronomers.

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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