April 15 2018: A large asteroid as big as a football field sneaked by the earth on Sunday. The asteroid, labelled as 2018 GE3 buzzed by the earth just a few hours after we detected it. It came as close as 192,317 km away from earth and swept us at half earth-moon distance.
Asteroid 2018 GE3
Asteroid 2018 GE3 was approximately 48 to 110 meters in diameter. Before this one, we had witnessed the largest space rock over Russia in 2003. Asteroid 2018 GE3 flew by at the speed of 106,497 km/h between the earth and the moon.
If it had entered our atmosphere, it may have caused some damage. Most of the big rock would have disintegrated before reaching the earth’s surface due to the friction, however depending on the angle it hit the surface, the regional damage could have been there if not global.
Near Earth Objects
Our solar system has many Near Earth Objects orbiting it and at times cross the orbit of earth. Any Near Earth Objects (NEO) that has a diameter bigger than 140 meters is considered hazardous. Most of those that come close to the earth are called Near Earth Asteroids (NEA). Unlike a comet, NEAs don’t have a tail or a coma. We have identified as many as 17,785 NEA’s so far. 2018 GE3 is classified as a Large Asteroid. It could have been a rude shock for us if the space rock had collided with us.