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Asteroid set for 'close' 43300 mile flight past Earth on Friday

10 February 2018, 01:44 | Ross Houston

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An asteroid, estimated to be between 15 and 30 metres in size, will safely pass by Earth on Friday, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has said. It's only thought to be between 50 and 130 feet across, making it just a baby, but that's still large enough to pack a serious punch if it were to find its way into Earth's atmosphere.

The second asteroid this week, it will zip past our planet this afternoon at 2:30 p.m. It may well be larger compared to the asteroid which entered Earth's atmosphere over Chelyabinsk in Russian Federation that almost slammed into the ground in 2013.

This GIF from Nasa shows how close the rock's trajectory will get to the earth, relative to the moon's orbit.

Anything that comes closer than 4,650,000 miles of Earth is classified by NASA as a "near-Earth object" (NEO) and is classed as "hazardous". It had last passed by Earth on October 31, 2015, and it was at a distance of 480,000 kilometers from Earth.

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2018 CB will pass within 39,000 miles (63,000 km) of earth, which is less than one-fifth the distance between the earth and the moon.

Astronomers take these opportunities to learn more about asteroids, such as their composition.

The Planetary Defense Coordination Office of NASA is regularly working on searching and tracking asteroids that could potentially pose danger for our planet. "Asteroids of this size do not often approach this close to our planet". They are using several partner telescopes for this cause.

According to NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies 13 other close approaches are set to take place this month, followed by five in March. All asteroid findings are published online at the Small-Body Database Browser which is available online for free.



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