Small asteroid to pass close to Earth, NASA says

The planet Earth is set to have a close encounter with a small asteroid today.

It has been given the name 2018 CB by the Catalina Sky Survey, the series of Nasa-funded telescopes located in Tuscon, Arizona which spotted the asteroid on Sunday, February 4.

The manager of NASA's centre for near-Earth object studies, Paul Chodas, said asteroids this size usually don't come this close - just once or twice a year.

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

During the 2013 Chelyabinsk event, 1500 people were injured and 7300 buildings damaged by the intense overpressure generated by the shockwave at Earth's surface.

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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.

Recently NASA announced that two small potentially hazardous asteroids would zoom past earth in close flyby within a week. The asteroid was between 50 and 100 feet in size.

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 majority reside. "These asteroids are simply too small to be detected until they get really close to our planet", added Chodas.

The asteroid is now known as 2018 CB, and its closest approach comes on the heels of another asteroid flyby, which occurred Tuesday at 12:10 p.m.

  • Regina Walsh