This uncommon asteroid will zip by Earth on Friday

Posted February 10, 2018

Asteroids this size don't often come this close to Earth but it is not unheard of.

A small, newly discovered asteroid passed near Earth earlier his week and a second one is expected to follow suit Friday, according to scientists with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The huge space rock was discovered along with another smaller asteroid by the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) near Tucson, Arizona, Sunday.

"Although 2018 CB is quite small, it might well be larger than the asteroid that entered the atmosphere over Chelyabinsk, Russia, nearly exactly five years ago, in 2013", said Paul Chodas, manager at the Centre for Near-Earth Object Studies at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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It will pass by Earth within one-fifth of the distance between the Earth and the moon.

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

Called asteroid 2018 CB, the space rock will shave by our planet at around 2230 GMT, the USA space agency said.

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On February 15, 2013, the Chelyabinsk meteor exploded over Russian Federation; about 7,200 buildings were damaged as a result of the impact and around 1,500 people were injured, mostly from broken glass.

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.

The agency has found about 16,000 asteroids and comets near Earth, and there are another few million estimated to be orbiting the sun between Mars and Jupiter, where a lot of them reside.

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NASA says Earth isn't at significant risk of getting hit by any known asteroid for at least 100 years. The names of the two asteroids were 2018 CC and 2018 CB.