Asteroid Makes a Close Pass on Friday

2018 CB will be much closer to us than the moon, but there's no danger
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2018 9:47 AM CST
3rd Asteroid This Week Zips Close on Friday
This image shows the path of 2018 CB as it nears Earth.   (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Celebrate the end of the work week and continued survival of our planet Friday with a glance up at the sky. There, you could get a glimpse of an asteroid whipping past Earth at a distance of 39,000 miles—roughly five times closer to us than the moon—around 5:30pm EST. Only discovered on Sunday, the asteroid known as 2018 CB is believed to be 50 to 130 feet wide, making it bigger than the one that caused such a stir when it landed in Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2013, notes the LA Times. This one won't hit Earth, but it's "a reminder that asteroids can pass very close to our planet and it’s important that we find these objects when they do get close," Paul Chodas of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory tells the Guardian.

The asteroid—spotted by astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona—will actually be the third to zip near Earth this week. While eyes were glued to SpaceX's Tuesday rocket launch, an asteroid estimated to be 50 to 100 feet wide came within 114,000 miles of Earth, roughly half the distance to the moon, reports Astronomy. Dubbed 2018 CC, it was discovered at the same time as 2018 CB, meaning we had only two days' notice of its arrival. A third asteroid passed within 2.6 million miles of Earth on Sunday, per If any of these visits freak you out, you might want to start preparing now for 2029. That's when a monster 1,000-foot-wide asteroid will pass Earth at one-tenth of the distance to the moon, per the Guardian. (A skull-shaped asteroid is still to come in 2018.)

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