Asteroid more than a mile wide to fly past Earth on Wednesday

Asteroid 1998 OR2

Asteroid 1998 OR2

To prevent potential collision of space rocks to Earth, a spacecraft will be designed and transported by NASA heading towards the space rock that'll crash the object into little pieces before it hits the planet.

The Observatory said: "The Arecibo Observatory is using its powerful radar system to track (52768) 1998 OR2, a near-Earth asteroid that will safely pass the Earth at a distance 16 times further than the distance to the Moon on April 29".

She said: "The small-scale topographic features such as hills and ridges on one end of asteroid 1998 OR2 are fascinating scientifically".

NASA scientists say by astronomical standards, that distance still classifies the asteroid as a "near-earth" object and worth watching. Since the asteroid will be best visible at night, the one-hour-long free event will commence at 7 p.m. EDT on April 28, 2020, or about 11 hours before 1998 OR2 makes its closest approach to Earth at 5:56 a.m. EDT.

Before this year comes, DART will undergo several test-drives starting on July 2021 facing against its first asteroid called "Didymoon" expected to hit Earth on October 2022. This is because it's bigger than 140 meters in size and will be under 8 million kilometres from Earth, which is enough to cause "global effects" if it were to crash into the planet.

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The asteroid has been classified as a potentially risky object because it is larger than 500 feet and is located within 5 million miles of Earth's orbit.

- If you will fall to Earth asteroid of this size, all these problems that we have now with the coronavirus, would have faded. Besides that, NASA has also detected multiple asteroids closing in on earth, but have predicted no destruction in the future. Scientists don't know of any potentially hazardous NEOs that pose an immediate risk to Earth.

The observatory says the asteroid, called 1998 OR2, doesn't pose a threat to us, but joked it appears to know our planet is facing a pandemic.

1998 OR2 is so large and bright that amateur astronomers can view it through their telescopes, weather permitting of course. Hosted by Slooh, a web-based telescope service, astronomy experts will be available on Zoom to answer questions from members, while viewers can watch the flyby on YouTube for free.

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