Massive Football Field-Sized Asteroid Comes Close to Earth in Surprise Flyby

Astronomers Say an Asteroid Snuck Up on Us and Almost Hit Earth Yesterday

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 asteroid called 2013 US3 included in the list of potential threats to Earth, the maximum closer to the Blue planet on April 29.

EarthSky reports the asteroid's closest approach to our planet was from 119,500 miles out, or less than half the distance to the moon at about 2:41 a.m. Sunday.

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NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) estimated the size at between 131 and 328 feet. The orbit appears to extend to the inner part of the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

The 2018 GE3 asteroid was discovered just one day before it skimmed past Earth in what scientists are calling a "surprise" flyby.

This GE3 is much bigger than that of 2013 asteroid but was first observed by the Catalina Sky Survey few hours before passing the earth. The said object injured more than 1,200 people while damaging thousands of buildings up to 93 kilometers away from the impact site. 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. And that particular asteroid was estimated to have produced about 185 times more energy than the Hiroshima atomic bomb, the report said.

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The US expressed concerns that Russian Federation may have tampered with evidence at the site. She said: "We're not going to get into any other options that were on the table".

According to ScienceAlert, 2018 GE3 buzzed by at a speed of 106,000 kilometers per hour (66,000 miles per hour), and would have caused some serious damage had it collided with our planet.

Was Earth in risk from 2018 GE3?

"If 2018 GE3 had hit Earth, it would have caused regional, not global, damage, and might have disintegrated in the atmosphere before reaching the ground", SpaceWeather.com reported.

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White says the target choices were "very methodical", calling it a "deliberate decision" to go after chemical weapons facilities. According to the Pentagon, 76 missiles hit the target near Damascus, 22 more rockets were fired at a warehouse west of Homs.

It's a general rule to trust governments and space agencies to be able to do things like detect oncoming asteroids that might impact the earth at some point.

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