GE3, the massive asteroid that grazed the Earth on Sunday

The Chelyabinsk meteorite causing sharp explosions and injurig many

The asteroid, named Asteroid 2018 GE3, was closest to Earth at around 2.41 a.m. ET on April 15 when it was spotted about 119,500 miles away, EarthSky.org reports.

With an estimated diameter of 157 to 361 feet (48 to 110 meters), the asteroid's impact with the Earth could have caused substantial damage. That's a little under half the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

NASA also said that after the GE3 passed the earth it had made a closer buzz to the Moon, that was even closer to the moon than the earth.

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

"If the asteroid had entered our atmosphere, a great portion of the space rock would have disintegrated due to friction with the air".

The asteroid was first perceived by astronomers at the Catalina Telescope at the University of Arizona, only 21 hours before its nearest passage from Earth on Monday morning broadcasts the Athenian-Macedonian News Agency.

"More than 1,800 potentially hazardous objects have been discovered so far, but there are many more waiting to be found". It has since been labeled 2018 GE3 and it passed by the planet at close range mere hours after detection.

The Chelyabinsk asteroid was undetected before it entered the atmosphere.

The sheer size of 2018 GE3, estimated to be 3.6 times larger than the Tunguska asteroid that wreaked havoc in 1809 when it exploded over Siberia in Russian Federation, was enough to pose a genuine threat. The almost undetected space rock flew by Earth at an estimated 66,174 miles per hour.

An initial analysis of the orbit of 2018 GE reveals this is the closest this specific area rock has actually concerned Earth a minimum of because 1930. The distance is about the half the distance between Earth and the moon and the estimated diameter of the space rock is about 131 to 328 feet as reported by NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies ( CNEOS).

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