The immense “doubtlessly unsafe” asteroid 1998 OR2 is appropriate just a few weeks away from its shut encounter with Earth, and you’re going to look the gigantic jam rock’s approach on-line or with a small telescope.
While asteroid 1998 OR2 is sufficiently big to wreak havoc on Earth if it had been to strike our planet, it will probably well now not approach wherever shut to a collision when it flies by on April 29.
“On April 29, asteroid 1998 OR2 will safely pass by 3.9 million miles/6.2 million kilometers,” scientists with NASA’s Asteroid Watch program talked about in a Twitter update as they debunked a Day to day Explicit characterize warning of the flyby. “There’s now not any warning about this asteroid,” they added in but one more Twitter submit.
NASA estimates that the asteroid is between 1.1 miles and a pair of.5 miles (1.8 to 4.1 kilometers) broad. In step with Asteroid Watch, 1998 OR2 will pass and that it will probably must pass by at a stable distance that is extra than 16 cases the fashioned distance between Earth and the moon. While NASA classifies asteroids that approach inner now not as much as 4.6 million miles (7.5 million km) of Earth as “doubtlessly unsafe,” there’s nothing to agonize about with 1998 OR2.
“The orbit is smartly understood and it will probably must pass harmlessly at 16 cases the distance to our moon,” NASA wrote on Twitter. “No person would possibly perchance well peaceable have any jam about it.”
The asteroid is at expose too faint to think with most yard telescopes, but it has been viewed in elevated telescopes for a while. The Virtual Telescope Project, a faraway observatory based mostly by astrophysicist Gianluca Masi of the Bellatrix Worthy Observatory in Italy, has been keeping an glimpse on the asteroid for about a month, periodically releasing original photos of the jam rock as it races by way of the cosmos at extra than 19,000 mph (31,000 km/h).
Asteroid 1998 OR2 is at expose finest viewed in authentic telescopes, esteem the ones Masi makes consume of on the Virtual Telescope Project. On the opposite hand, newbie astronomers can have a probability to think the asteroid for themselves when it turns into viewed in smaller telescopes right by way of its shut approach.
In step with EarthSky.org, asteroid 1998 OR2 is anticipated to prevail in a visual magnitude of 10 or 11 (magnitude is a measure of an object’s brightness). This means it will probably must be viewed in a minimal of 6-walk or 8-walk telescopes, weather permitting.
In case you are now not ready to seem the flyby, you most certainly can peaceable think asteroid 1998 OR2 in a live webcast from the Virtual Telescope Project. Hosted by Masi, the free livestream will feature telescope views of the asteroid on April 28, starting at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT).
- The hunt for harmful asteroids: Here is how scientists stop it
- NASA wants a brand original jam telescope to hunt asteroids which will threaten Earth
- Planetary protection joins NASA’s menu for next decadal look focal point