Asteroid the size of a football field makes 'surprise' flyby past Earth

Asteroid buzzed Earth this weekend

At its closest point, the asteroid - called 2018 GE3 - was just 119,500 miles away from Earth's atmosphere, about half the distance between Earth and the moon, according to NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS).

The safety of our planet, however, was jeopardized over the weekend when scientists nearly failed to detect a football field-sized asteroid heading towards Earth. The asteroids which are present in this belt do not pose any threat to the Earth.

NASA scientists noticed the massive asteroid at an observatory in Arizona just 21 hours prior to the flyby, ScienceAlert reported on Tuesday.

Had the object, first observed at the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona on Saturday, moving at a speed of some 66,174 miles per hour (106,497 km/h), hit the Earth, its impact would be hard to imagine. Some hours later, Spaceweather.com reported that an amateur astronomer Michael Jager of Weibenkirchen Austria has posted the video of the asteroid that was recorded when asteroid fly past through the southern constellation Serpens.

The "medium-sized" space object is reportedly over three times the size of a meteor that entered the atmosphere over Russian Federation in 2013 and injured more than 1,000 people.

Five years ago, the 10,000-ton, 56-foot Chelyabinsk meteor exploded over Russian Federation with the force of 30 atomic bombs.

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"It doesn't take a very large object".

"However, some of an asteroid this size might have gotten through to Earth's surface, and an asteroid this big is capable of causing some regional damage, depending on various factors such as composition, speed, entry angle, and location of impact", the space website explains.

This is the unnoticed closest asteroid approach to the Earth ever.

That's significantly smaller than the 2018 GE3 asteroid.

NASA also said that after the GE3 passed the earth it had made a closer buzz to the Moon, that was even closer to the moon than the earth.

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