'Hazardous' asteroid heading for earth is larger than a blue whale

'Hazardous' asteroid heading for earth is larger than a blue whale

AN asteroid heading for earth this evening has been described by NASA as "potentially hazardous".

The space experts only discovered the space rock, which is estimated to be between 14 and 40 metres wide, and as so is likely to be larger than a blue whale, last week.

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.

Asteroid 2018 CB is the second small asteroid to buzz by the planet this week, according to NASA.
"Asteroids of this size do not often approach this close to our planet - maybe only once or twice a year," said Paul Chodas, manager of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
"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,” he added.

2018 CB is due to fly past the earth at 10.30pm this evening, and will travel past just 39,000 miles away, or about one fifth of the distance to the moon.

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

An asteroid is a chunk of rock orbiting the sun, left over from the formation of the solar system billions of years ago.