While the whole world watched the situation that unfolded Saturday in Syria, by the Earth flew a rather large asteroid the size of a football field. Most interesting in this news that NASA astronomers working in the Observatory in Arizona, discovered the asteroid in just a few hours before it flew past our planet, which once again testifies in favour of necessity of development of our systems of planetary security.
After only 21 hours since the discovery of the asteroid in 2018 GE3 approached very uncomfortable (at least from a psychological point of view) distance to our planet. At a speed of approximately 106,000 kilometers per hour space rock swept at a distance equal to half the distance between Earth and the Moon. By earthly standards it is, of course, not so impressive, but in space… Surely in the moment of watching him on the backs of astronomers not just just got a chill, especially considering the size of this object.
Once or twice a week, scientists noticed the asteroid approaching our planet at a distance closer than the distance between the Earth and the Moon. However, in most cases, these objects are no more bus, high private home. The size of the asteroid in 2018 GE3 more like the size of a huge supermarket. According to preliminary calculations, the width of the object can range from 47 up to 100 meters, that is, it is about 3.6 times than the object that exploded over the Siberian taiga in 1908. The amount of energy released by the explosion, was 185 times greater than in the explosion dropped bombs on Hiroshima.
It is quite easy to imagine what consequences we would expect if an asteroid 2018 GE3 “decided” to change direction and head straight to the Ground.
“Fall 2018 GE3 on the Ground — this would cause is not global, but regional destruction. It is possible that the object is partially collapsed at the entrance to the atmosphere. However, it is a fairly large asteroid. He once again demonstrated that even large space rocks can surprise you with its unexpected appearance. The asteroid was first discovered less than a day before closest approach to our planet,” — says the portal SpaceWeather.com.
The difficulty of detecting asteroids in the first place due to their size and low albedo (reflective characteristics). In addition, they are moving very fast, it is quite difficult to track.
Space Agency NASA conducts a program for the detection of asteroids, however it is mainly focused on finding objects larger than 140 meters in diameter. According to the most optimistic estimates, the size of the asteroid in 2018 GE3 is only 3/4 of that. However, even these “pebbles” can cause serious damage. Recall that in 2013 over Chelyabinsk asteroid exploded. The resulting shock wave that blew out Windows in many homes, injured more than 1,200 people. This stone, by the way, was 3-6 times smaller than the object 2018 GE3.