A surprising thing has occurred in space. A “Tunguska-class” asteroid has soundlessly skimmed past the planet very closely on 15th of April. According to researchers, the asteroid was the size of a standard football field, and it flew through the Moon-Earth system with a small warning.
The asteroid is called as 2018 GE3, and it was founded just the day before its close flyby of the planet. The researchers saw the asteroid speedily plunging inward from the asteroid belt. A watchful amateur astronomer in Europe was able to capture the asteroid as it flew by the planet in a near approach. Throughout its close flyby, the 2018 GE3 asteroid was approximately 192,200 kilometers away from Earth.
The significantly gigantic asteroid was found on 14th of April by the Catalina Sky Survey. Just after the day of discovery, an amateur astronomer from Weißenkirchen Austria named Michael Jäger recorded the flyby video of the asteroid as it traveled through the southern constellation Serpens.
NASA estimated that the asteroid is somewhere in the middle of forty-seven to one hundred meters wide, which means it’s approximately 3.6 times of the one, which cleared 2,000 sq.km of the forest when it bombed over Tunguska region of Russia in Siberia in 1908. This particular asteroid was calculated to have generated at least 185 times more energy compared to the Hiroshima atomic bomb.
According to the report published by Space.com, if the 2018 G31 hit the planet, it would undoubtedly cause local, not global damage, and this might have crumbled in the atmosphere before it reached the ground. Nonetheless, it’s a substantial asteroid, showing how even big space rocks can still people by surprise.
The 2018 GE3 is considered to be following an elliptical orbit, which stretches from the asteroid belt to the more in-depth in the inner solar system. On top of that, the asteroid crosses the planet Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars in every 2.5 years. However, not all the time it passes through them in a near approach. The JPL team of NASA has published an interactive 3D orbit of the asteroid 2018 GE3.
The Asteroid GE3 was first marked on Saturday, April 14 by astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey, a NASA-funded program headquartered at the University of Arizona in Tucson. The initial sighting happened only twenty-one hours before the closest approach of the asteroid to the planet.