Everest Sized Asteroid 1998 OR2 to Fly-by Earth: According to the details shared by NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, an Everest sized Asteroid 1998 OR2 will fly-by Earth today i.e. on 29th April 2020. NASA and other researchers have ruled out any potential threat to the planet due to the asteroid. The space agency said that Asteroid 52768 also known as 1998 OR2, which is sized at around 8 to 4.1 kilometres wide, will zoom past earth today afternoon (IST), at a distance of 6.2 million kilometres. As per the details shared by NASA, the giant asteroid will be travelling at the rapid pace of 19,461 miles per hour. Despite its large size, the far distance and the speed at whichit will be travelling will make it practically invisible to the naked eye.
According to the space agency, Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico has captured a radar image of the asteroid 1998 OR2, which is also tagged at the top of this story. The Arecibo Observatory is the world's second-largest single-dish radio telescope.
The details shared by NASA have confirmed that the Asteroid will be closest to planet Earth at 5:56 AM. ET which roughly translates to 3:26 PM IST on Wednesday.
The NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, has categorized the asteroid 1998 OR2 as the ‘a potentially hazardous object’, because it flies past Earth’s earth at regular intervals. In total, there are around 125 other objects that have been deemed as potentially hazardous objects.
However, just because the Asteroid is being termed as potentially hazardous doesn’t mean that there is a cause for concern or worry for people on Earth. As reported earlier, the asteroid will fly by earth at a distance of 6.2 million kilometres, which is quite far. The distance between Earth and Moon is 3,85,000 km; as compared to that the asteroid 1998 OR2 will be around 16 times further from Earth. By definition, any object that comes within 19.5 times the distance of Earth and Moon are classified as ‘Potentially Hazardous’ by NASA.
Considering the distance at which the Asteroid 1998 OR2 is expected to fly-past earth, it will be invisible to the naked eye. In order to view the asteroid from earth, one would need at least a 6-inch or 8-inch telescope and clear skies. Alternatively, the Virtual Telescope Project in Rome, will also be live streaming the fly-by of Asteroid online. You can click here to reach the website from where you can watch the asteroid fly-by on your computer or smartphone.