First observed at Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona on Saturday, April 14, 2018, the asteroid - which has been labeled 2018 GE3 - swept past us at about half the Earth-moon distance early Sunday morning according to clocks in North America. The estimated diameter of the space rock ranged from 131 to 328 feet, CNEOS reports.
The asteroid was discovered just one day before it flies close to the earth surface and this is what scientists are calling as " surprise" flyby.
It is noted that NASA has a program to detect asteroids. "Hours later, amateur astronomer Michael Jäger of Weißenkirchen Austria video-recorded the space rock gliding through the southern constellation Serpens", Spaceweather.com reported. Perhaps he would disintegrate in the atmosphere before reaching the ground.
The asteroid is three to six times as big as one that broke up over Russian Federation in 2013, injuring over 1,200 people and damaging thousands of buildings up to 93 km away from the impact site, "Space.com" reported.
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"It might make you feel better (or worse) to know that asteroids enter Earth's atmosphere unnoticed on a fairly regular basis.""A 10-meter size object already packs the same energy as a nuclear bomb".
It was also incredibly fast-it was traveling at a speed of 66,174 miles per hour, or Mach 86.
While rare at that size, asteroids more than a quarter-mile wide are capable of causing a disaster on the global scale.
According to EarthSky.org, the asteroid was spotted 192,500km away - a distance closer than the moon. However, this is a significant asteroid, illustrating that even large space rocks can still surprise us. 2018 GE3 was found less than a day before before its closest approach. Every ~2.5 years the space rock crosses the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars-although not necessarily making close approaches to the planets themselves.