Home > Latest News > Asteroid ‘size of city block=?UTF-8?B?4oCZIA==?=skims past Earth on Saturday

Asteroid ‘size of city block=?UTF-8?B?4oCZIA==?=skims past Earth on Saturday

The 460-foot-long Asteroid 2013 ET has whizzed past Earth on Saturday – the latest in our planet’s galactic ‘pinball contest’. Earlier in the day, the 2013 EC20 passed even closer, and both within a month of the Chelyabinsk meteor’s Earth strike.
 
The enormous piece of space debris has passed just 2.5 lunar distances from planet Earth – the moon is approximately 384,400 km (238,000 miles) from us, meaning the asteroid’s flyby will be at a distance of about 950,000km (600,000 miles).
 
Some astronomers have compared its size to that of a city block, others a football pitch. Its dimensions were widely given as 460 feet (140m) long and 210 feet (64m) wide. A professional American football field is 360 feet by 160 feet, which would make this asteroid 100 feet longer than a football field, and 50 feet wider, should it live up to calculations.
 
Asteroid 2013 ET was first detected on March 3 by the Catalina Sky Survey based at the University of Arizona, and now approaches the planet less than a week after it first hit astronomers’ radars.
 
It was not bright enough to view through standard personal binoculars or small ‘backyard’ telescopes, but was visible using larger, professional devices in observatories, one of which will broadcast its passage online.
 
It was the second in one day, and the third this week. Earlier on Saturday, at 5:57am Moscow time (09:57 GMT), a smaller asteroid passed even closer to Earth. The 2013 EC20, between 9 and 40 feet (3 and 10m), came within 169,000 km (some 106,000 miles) – even closer than the moon.
 
The second last asteroid on Monday’s, named 2013 EC, flew within 230,000 miles of the planet. Its range fell just inside the moon’s orbit. It was also smaller, at 33 feet (10m) wide. 

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