Asteroid to fly by Earth this weekend

Asteroid to fly by Earth this weekend

Scientists: Another asteroid to buzz earth; but it’s what you can’t see that might hurt you

 

Asteroid 2013 ET, first detected on March 3, will pass at a distance equal to 2 1/2 times the distance between the earth and the moon Saturday.

This latest brush comes only a day after a smaller asteroid split the distance between the two, and less than a month after a meteor slipped through completely undetected before slamming into the remote Siberian city of Chelyabinsk on February 15.

Large asteroids whose orbits will bring them close to Earth can typically be detected decades in advance of their arrival. Smaller objects are generally detected only days in advance – if at all. And, as was the case with the Russian strike, they have the potential to take out a large city.

Scientists are scrambling to develop techniques to better identify these small but still potentially devastating space invaders. Their goal is to provide sufficient notice for threatened populations to be evacuated before a strike.