Mon, 27 Apr 2020
An image of the asteroid taken by scientists at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico
AN asteroid estimated to be 1.2 miles wide will fly by Earth this week, but don't worry it's not expected to make impact, although it is still classified by astronomers as 'potentially hazardous'.
The giant asteroid will be the largest to pass Earth this year and from the image captured by the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico it looks like it's ready for any pandemic as it appears to be wearing a facemask.
Asteroid 1998 OR2 – first spotted in 1998 – is expected to pass within 3,908,791 miles of Earth, moving at 19,461 miles per hour on Wednesday, April 29.
That's 16 times farther than the distance between Earth and the Moon.
It will not be bright enough to see with the naked eye – but amateur observers will be able to watch its journey across the sky using telescopes.
The Centre for Near Earth Objects has categorised it as a "potentially dangerous asteroid" as a result of its size and proximity to Earth.
The Nasa-tracked rock's orbit is also expected to bring the object within a million miles of Earth in 2079.