2018 GE3: A giant asteroid “rubs” the Earth and surprises NASA.
Asteroid 2018 GE3, similar in size to the one that exploded more than 100 years ago in the Russian region of Tunguska in Siberia, “grazed” the Earth last Sunday (April 15), only hours after astronomers discovered the mysterious object. The asteroid, called 2018 GE3, made its closest approach to Earth around 2:41 a.m. EDT (0641 GMT), buzzing at a distance of 192,000 kilometers, or about half the average distance between Earth and the moon, according to NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies.
NASA estimated that this asteroid measures 48 to 110 meters wide, which makes the rocky space up to 3.6 times greater than the one that wiped out 2,000 square kilometers of the Siberian forest when it exploded over Tunguska in 1908. This new asteroid is three to six times larger than another recent meteor, which broke up over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2013. That object injured more than 1,200 people and damaged thousands of buildings up to 93 km away from the site. impact. “If 2018 GE3 had hit Earth, it would have caused regional, not global, damage and could have disintegrated in the atmosphere before it hit the ground,” SpaceWeather.com reported. “However, it is a significant asteroid, which illustrates how even large space rocks can still take us by surprise. 2018 GE3 was found less than a day before its closest approach. ”
Asteroid 2018 GE3 was detected for the first time on Saturday (April 14) at 5:23 a.m. EDT (0923 GMT) by astronomers at Catalina Sky Survey, a program sponsored by NASA at the University of Arizona in Tucson. This first sighting occurred only 21 hours before the closest asteroid approach to Earth.
Looking through YouTube comments, there seem to be several plausible theories