Huge asteroid the size of a football pitch skims past Earth - and scientists hadn’t spotted it

Rob Waugh
Contributor
It was only detected hours before (Getty)

A newly discovered asteroid the size of a football pitch skimmed past alarmingly close to Earth – and scientists hadn’t spotted it in advance.

The asteroid – 2018 GE3 – came just 119,500 miles away from our planet, around half the distance between Earth and the noon.

NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) estimated the size at between 131 and 328 feet.

That’s even bigger than the asteroid which ‘blew up’ over the Russian town of Chelyabinsk in 2013, which is thought to have been around 60 feet across.

During the 2013 Chelyabinsk event, 1500 people were injured and 7300 buildings damaged by the intense overpressure generated by the shockwave at Earth’s surface.


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Space Weather reported, ‘2018 GE3 was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey approaching Earth on April 14th.

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‘Hours later, amateur astronomer Michael Jäger of Weißenkirchen Austria video-recorded the space rock gliding through the southern constellation Serpens.’