Newly found asteroid ‘the size of a blue whale’ to skim past close to Earth today

Rob Waugh
Contributor
This afternoon, the asteroid will pass Earth Getty

A newly discovered asteroid the size of a blue whale is to skim past Earth within 39,000 miles, just one-fifth of the distance from our planet to the moon.

The asteroid, 2018 CB, was found just days ago on February 4, by astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona.

It’s between 50 and 130 feet wide, similar in size the one which exploded over Chelyabinsk five years ago.

Unlike the Chelyabinsk rock, though, this asteroid will miss our planet, passing by Earth on Friday evening British time.

The path of asteroid 2018 CB, which will come close to Earth on Feb. 10.

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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Paul Chodas of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, told The Guardian that asteroids of this size don’t often come close to our planet.

He said, ‘it is a reminder that asteroids can pass very close to our planet and it’s important that we find these objects when they do get close.’