Football field-sized asteroid zooms dangerously close to Earth

The Chelyabinsk meteorite causing sharp explosions and injurig many

The asteroid "2018 GE3", which was slightly larger than the one that exploded over Tunguska in Siberia in 1908, flattening 2,000 square kilometers of forest, passed at a distance of 192,300 kilometers, nearly half the distance of the Moon from Earth, according to the US Space Agency (NASA).

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

The asteroid, dubbed 2018 GE3, passed by Earth at 2:41 EDT Sunday morning and was estimated to be between 157 to 361 feet in diameter.

Its closest indicate Earth was simply 119,500 miles (192,317 km) away. That's a little under half the distance between the Earth and the Moon. Inning accordance with NASA, hours later on, at about 5:59 a.m. EDT on April 15, the area rock passed even closer to the moon than it needed to Earth.

Had it entered the atmosphere, a great portion of the asteroid would have broken up, but some might have made it through to the Earth's surface, EarthSky says.

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SpaceWeather.com reports asteroid 2018 GE3 was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey on Saturday. The survey's task is to discover and track near-Earth objects.

The sheer size of 2018 GE3, estimated to be 3.6 times larger than the Tunguska asteroid that wreaked havoc in 1809 when it exploded over Siberia in Russian Federation, was enough to pose a genuine threat.

Was Earth in risk from 2018 GE3? Not this time, but a Chelyabinsk-type event can clearly repeat.

A football-sized asteroid - labeled 2018 GE3 - buzzed by Earth on April 16, 2018. According to the database maintained by NASA, there are only three asteroids of a similar size or superior to have been so close since the beginning of the twentieth century. The distance is about the half the distance between Earth and the moon and the estimated diameter of the space rock is about 131 to 328 feet as reported by NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies ( CNEOS).

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