A newly discovered asteroid that will fly safely past Earth today (Feb. 9) may be larger than a celestial object that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, five years ago. The newly found interloper, called 2018 CB, is estimated to be from 50 to 130 feet (15 to 40 meters) in diameter, and will fly by Earth at about 2:30 p.m. PST (5:30 p.m. EST).The NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey spotted 2018 CB and another asteroid, 2018 CC, on Feb. 4. While 2018 CB isn't entering Earth's atmosphere, the object will whiz by safely at less than 20 percent of the distance from the Earth to the moon. Coincidentally, 2018 CB's arrival comes just days after two other asteroids safely passed by Earth. On Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 4), asteroid 2002 AJ129 came by the planet at a distance of only 2.6 million miles (4.2 million km) -- 10 times the distance to the moon. (The average distance between the Earth and moon is about 238,855 miles, or 384,400 km.)Then, on Tuesday (Feb. 6), asteroid 2018 CC made its closest approach, at 114,000 miles (184,000 km), roughly the halfway point between Earth and the moon.
Is there any more info about this close one? Asteroid - meaning it is in solar orbit? If so, that close pass is sure to cause some deflection of the prior orbit.