Published On: Tue, Apr 17th, 2018

Giant Asteroid 2018 GE3 Just Had A Close Call With Earth, And No One Saw It Coming

3D illustration of a giant asteroid closing in on Earth.

A massive asteroid the size of a football field whizzed past us in the early hours of April 15, in one of the scariest near miss in more than 15 years, Space.com reports.

The asteroid, dubbed 2018 GE3, was spotted less than a day before its close encounter with our planet, shows the Minor Planet Center of the International Astronomical Union.

With all the commotion going on over the weekend — as NASA prepared for the launch of its new planet-hunting satellite, Transiting Exoplanet Survey (TESS) — the U.S. space agency was taken completely by surprise and didn’t even realize 2018 GED was coming.

The giant asteroid was sighted a mere 21 hours before its closest approach to Earth, by the Catalina Sky Survey in Tucson. Astronomers at the NASA-sponsored program first locked eyes on 2018 GE3 on Saturday (April 14) at 5:23 a.m. EDT (09:23 GMT).

Almost a day later, asteroid 2018 GE3 came whizzing by at about half the distance between Earth and the moon, notes Fox News.

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Giant Asteroid 2018 GE3 Just Had A Close Call With Earth, And No One Saw It Coming