The size of the football field Asteroid skimmed past Earth

How a Football Field Size Asteroid Caught Us by Surprise

An artist's concept of a"generic asteroid flyby. Credit Shutterstock

That's significantly smaller than the 2018 GE3 asteroid. The orbit appears to extend to the inner part of the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

A medium-sized asteroid surprised astronomers with an unexpected near miss of the Earth on the weekend.

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.

For comparison, the Chelyabinsk meteorite that hit Russian Federation in February 2013 was about three to six times smaller in diameter, yet its explosion in the atmosphere damaged over 7,000 buildings and injured some 1,500 people due to shattered glass. "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". According to NASA, hours later, at about 5:59 a.m. EDT on April 15, the space rock passed even closer to the moon than it had to Earth.

It was also incredibly fast-it was traveling at a speed of 66,174 miles per hour, or Mach 86.

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Will 2018 GE3 collide with the Earth one day?

That meteor - estimated to be about 10 tons and 49 feet wide - entered the Earth's atmosphere at a hypersonic speed of at least 33,000 mph and shattered into pieces about 18-32 miles above the ground, injuring 1,100 people (mostly from flying glass), the Russian Academy of Sciences confirmed. Not this time, but a Chelyabinsk-type event can clearly repeat.

"It might make you feel better (or worse) to know that asteroids enter Earth's atmosphere unnoticed on a fairly regular basis".

CNET said 2018 GE3 was among the largest space rocks to come so close to Earth.

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