Asteroid 2018 CB: What time is asteroid passing earth tonight? Will we be able to see rock | Science | News

Asteroid 2018 CB – a 200,000tonne space rock – is on its way to pass Earth tonight.

NASA only last Sunday discovered the asteroid hurtling through space at more than 18,000mph is Earth-bound this evening.

The asteroid could be up to 40 metres long – making it much longer than the blue whale.

NASA also says the rock could be double the size to the meteor that almost wiped out Chelyabinsk in 2013, injuring more than 1,000 people.

The asteroid will be travelling at hypersonic speeds as it flies by at close to five miles per SECOND – making it four times faster than the speediest ever man-made machine, the North American X-15 which can travel at 4,520 miles per hour.

What time is asteroid passing earth tonight?

The giant space rock is predicted to shoot past Earth tonight at around 22.30 GMT.

For anyone wanting to watch the asteroid’s flyby, the Virtual Telescope Project will be hosting a live stream from location in Italy, beginning at 8pm GMT.

A statement from the Virtual Telescope reads: “The observatory is placed at 1300 meters above the sea level, in the Sonoran desert, providing one of the best skies in the world.”

Experts indicated 2018 CB will be just 39,000 miles away from the Earth – just a fifth of the distance between the Earth and the moon.

Anything that comes closer than 4,650,000 miles of Earth is classified by NASA as a “near-Earth object” (NEO).

Experts say it is likely to be between 15 to 40 metres in size and that space rocks like these only come this close “once or twice” a year.

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

“Asteroids of this size do not often approach this close to our planet – maybe only once or twice a year.”

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