GE3, the massive asteroid that grazed the Earth on Sunday


Nearly a day later, asteroid 2018 GE3 came whizzing by at about half the distance between Earth and the moon, notes Fox News. Austrian amateur astronomer Michael Jäger recorded the object as it passed through the southern constellations Serprens. It has since been labeled 2018 GE3 and it passed by the planet at close range mere hours after detection. But according to preliminary estimates, it would take about two and a half years before returning more or less close to Earth.

Asteroid 2018 GE3, an Apollo type asteroid, was flying through space at 66,174 miles per hour (106,497 km/h). But according to Andrew Rader, a researcher and engineer at SpaceX, 2018 GE3 is "vast enough to destroy a city".

2018 GE3, as the asteroid is named, was identified on April 14 by the Catalina Sky Survey, a project by the American University of Arizona, funded by NASA and dedicated to the search for asteroids and comets near the Earth.

The newfound asteroid was estimated to be 48 to110 meters (157 to 360 feet) in diameter.

It's a general rule to trust governments and space agencies to be able to do things like detect oncoming asteroids that might impact the earth at some point.

The 2018 GE3 asteroid was discovered just one day before it skimmed past Earth in what scientists are calling a "surprise" flyby.

The asteroid would have likely disintegrated as soon as it entered Earth's atmosphere due to the 66,000 miles per hour speed it was traveling and the "friction with the air", EarthSky reported.

But an asteroid need not be in the Tunguska range to do damage: in 2013, the 65-foot-wide Chelyabinsk meteor exploded over Russian Federation, injuring 1,200 people and smashing thousands of windows.

Just a day after being discovered dangerously close and approaching Earth, an asteroid, potentially capable of causing significant damage, has darted past our planet almost missing it on an astronomical scale.

Although, asteroids are hard to track, it's rare for one to come so close to Earth without being picked up well in advance.