Technology A 150-Foot Asteroid Flew Alarmingly Close to Earth Just Hours After Being Spotted

11:51  17 april  2018
11:51  17 april  2018 Source:   Time

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A small asteroid barely missed Earth over the weekend, just hours after scientists first spotted the space rock. The near- Earth asteroid 2017 BH30 got within 32,200 miles of the planet, about 7.6 times closer to Earth than the moon.

A 150 - foot (45-meter)-wide asteroid will come remarkably close to Earth next week, even closer than high- flying communication and weather satellites. It will be the nearest known flyby for an object of this size.

a close up of a mountain: View of asteroid 243 Ida, mosaic of 5 image frames aquired by Galileo spacecraft's Solid State Imaging System. © Time Life Pictures—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images View of asteroid 243 Ida, mosaic of 5 image frames aquired by Galileo spacecraft's Solid State Imaging System.

An asteroid estimated to be at least 150 feet in diameter made an alarmingly close pass to Earth on Sunday morning just hours after it was first observed by astronomers.

The asteroid, named Asteroid 2018 GE3, was closest to Earth at around 2.41 a.m. ET on April 15 when it was spotted about 119,500 miles away, EarthSky.org reports. That’s closer than the moon, which orbits Earth at an average distance of 238,900 miles. GE3 also passed close to the moon later that morning on its journey around the sun.

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A massive asteroid that is nearly 3 miles wide had a ' close encounter' with Earth today. Dubbed 'Florence' after Florence Nightingale, the huge space rock passed just 4.4 million miles from our planet which is about 18 times the distance between Earth and the moon.

An asteroid flew pretty close to Earth last week. However, it was not until July 23 that we spotted the asteroid , after it had passed Earth , thanks to the ATLAS-MLO telescope in Hawaii. More alarmingly , we only know about 0.5 percent of asteroids smaller than 120 meters (390 feet ).

According to EarthSky.org, Asteroid 2018 GE3 could be as much as six times bigger than the Chelyabinsk meteorite, which exploded over central Russia in 2013. When the rock hit the atmosphere it caused a bright flash, and thousands of fragments fell throughout the region of Chelyabinsk, breaking windows and injuring about 1,500 people. If GE3 had entered Earth’s atmosphere it could have caused similar, if not more severe, damage.

The asteroid was first observed by the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey project, based at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Lab in Tucson, Arizona.

Related slideshow: Stunning space photos

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