Asteroid to pass close to Earth

Asteroid to pass close to Earth

According to NASA, it will make its closest approach to Earth at 10:30 p.m. GMT (5:30 p.m. EST) today.

Also, on February 4, a fast-moving mid-sized asteroid named 2002 AJ129 zoomed past Earth in a close flyby.

Both of this week's asteroids were discovered February 4 by astronomers at the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona.

The Catalina Sky Survey is part of an initiative to look for potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) and there are several networks around the world with the same goal.

A whopper of an asteroid called Apophis will pass the Earth at just one-tenth the distance between Earth and the moon but not until 2029.

In astronomical terms, the asteroid that exploded over Chelyabinsk was quite small, at 59 feet.

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The shock wave following a 20-metre wide asteroid hitting the atmosphere over Chelyabinsk injured nearly 1,000 people on February 15 2013.

Firstly, the object is relatively small, so it would cause a large number of injuries rather than killing billions of people and sending us back to the Stone Age.

It is the second asteroid to pass by the planet this week.

Anything that comes closer than 4,650,000 miles of Earth is classified by NASA as a "near-Earth object". It was estimated at 50 to 100 feet in size, JPL said. Most asteroids are found orbiting in the Asteroid Belt, a series of rings located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

Its close approach to Earth came at 3.10 pm EST at a distance of about 184,000 kilometres, NASA said.

Tenagra Observatories in Arizona will use its telescopes to live stream a video of asteroid 2018 CB as it approaches Earth today.

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