Newly Discovered Asteroid to 'Skim' Past Earth Today


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

Paul Chodas, manager of NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, said that such asteroids "do not often approach this close to our planet - maybe only once or twice a year".

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

Asteroid 2018 CC zoomed past by at about half the distance between Earth and the moon, while 2018 CB will zoom past at about a fifth of a "lunar distance". The asteroid was estimated to be 55-65 feet in diameter. The rock exploded in the atmosphere 14.5 miles (23.3 kilometers) above Russia's Chelyabinsk region in February 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.

Fortunately, the space station said that 2018 CB will "safely pass" Earth.

Small asteroids pass between the planet and the moon several times a month.

The rock could be up to 40 metres wide which would be double the size to the meteor which nearly wiped out Chelyabinsk. Last year, more than 2,000 previously unknown near-Earth asteroids were discovered, according to Chodas.

On Tuesday, an asteroid passed within 114,000 miles (183,000km), slightly more than halfway to the moon.

The Planetary Defense Coordination Office of NASA is regularly working on searching and tracking asteroids that could potentially pose danger for our planet.