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This Asteroid Can't Wait to Snuggle Earth on Friday

On Friday, a small asteroid called 2018 CB will safely whiz by Earth, posing absolutely no threat to humanity. It will get pretty close to our pale blue dot, however, giving Earth a much-needed hug.

According to NASA, the asteroid will pass our planet at around 5:30 p.m. Eastern (2:30 p.m. Pacific) at a distance of about 39,000 miles (64,000 kilometers). That’s only one-fifth of the distance between Earth and our moon, making this a pretty close encounter. Still, the asteroid is just a smol boy — it’s likely between 50 and 130 feet (15 and 40 meters) in size. It’s like a flying kitten, minus all the biting and scratching.

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“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,” Paul Chodas, manager of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, says in a press release. “Asteroids of this size do not often approach this close to our planet — maybe only once or twice a year.”

Asteroid 2018 CB 

Surprisingly, 2018 CB and another asteroid that passed us this week — 2018 CC — were discovered on Sunday, February 4. Both were spotted by astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) in Arizona.

For those hoping to get whacked in the face by an asteroid: I’m sorry. This tiny asteroid means no harm — it just wants to take a close peek at Earth and then pass onward into the void.

Ultima Thule Isn't Snowman-Shaped, "Wonderfully Puzzling" Discovery Reveals

"It was greeted by the sheer joy of scientific discovery."

Since NASA’s New Horizons probe flew by Ultima Thule on New Year’s Eve to the sweet soundtrack of Queen’s Brian May, we’ve learned a lot more about the distant object that dwells beyond the orbit of Neptune. In January, NASA photos revealed it was shaped like a snowman, formed from two space rocks jammed together. But as newer images of the object, which is roughly 4 billion miles from the sun, have trickled in over the past few weeks, project scientists have realized that it’s actually flat.

Mars One Is a "Money Grab" Where Everyone Loses

If you’re looking for an escape, this definitely isn’t it. 

The space tourism startup Mars One has been called many things over the years, some more flattering than others. Though it’s had the opportunity to fold many times, and in spite of claims it’s scamming its own customers, the project with the stated goal of sending people to Mars has come up with bewildering new techniques to keep its charade afloat.

Brain Scans Reveal Why "Night Owls" Have It Rough in a 9-to-5 Society: Study

The results explain why we need to "create more flexibility in our society."

The 9-to-5 workday originated with American labor unions in the 1800s, and today, the eight-hour workday is the norm. But however normalized the schedule, it is directly opposed to something more powerful: biology.

In a new study, scientists report that people whose internal body clocks tell them to go to bed late, but are then forced to wake up early, have a lower resting brain connectivity in the regions of the brain linked to consciousness.

Why You Should Consider Your Partner's Genetics Before Getting Married

On the basis of genes. 

By Richard Mattson, The Conversation
Filed Under Genetics, Health & Sex

How important is it to consider a romantic partner’s genetic profile before getting married?

It is logical to think that genetic factors may underlie many traits already used by matching sites - like personality and empathy — which many assume could promote initial chemistry and long-term potential in specific couples. So it is perhaps not surprising that there are now websites that combine genetic testing and matchmaking.

Scientists Uncover the Surprising Way the Penis Forms

There's a second process that doesn't involve the testes.

At around fifteen weeks into a pregnancy, curious mothers-to-be can go to a doctor’s office, be rubbed with a bit of lubricating jelly, and have an ultrasound. Sometimes during this process, technically known as a fetal anatomy survey, a technician will point out a teeny, tiny penis. But while this process has become a hallmark of early parenthood, it’s only now that scientists are beginning to understand how exactly this fetal penis forms.