The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has confirmed that a tiny asteroid will safely bypass near to Earth on Wednesday. NASA has additionally clarified that the asteroid poses no chance to Earth, as it will now not even come near hitting the planet.
The asteroid, named as Asteroid 2020 HS7 by way of the business enterprise, will bypass at a distance of 23,000 miles/36,400 km from Earth.
“Tiny asteroid 2020 HS7 will safely pass Earth simply earlier than three pm EDT these days at a distance of approximately 23,000 miles/36,400 km. 2020 HS7 poses no chance to our planet, and small asteroids of this size safely pass with the aid of Earth a few instances consistent with month,” NASA Asteroid Watch tweeted.
Tiny #asteroid 2020 HS7 will safely pass Earth just before 3pm EDT today at a distance of about 23,000 miles/36,400 km. 2020 HS7 poses no danger to our planet, and small asteroids of this size safely pass by Earth a few times per month. #planetarydefense— NASA Asteroid Watch (@AsteroidWatch) April 28, 2020
The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico has been monitoring the 1.2 mile-wide area rock as it edges nearer, after Nasa first spotted it in 1998.
Scientists have joked that the latest image of the asteroid seem like it is carrying a mask because of dust and particles passing around it.
“The small-scale topographic functions which includes hills and ridges on one end of asteroid 1998 OR2 are charming scientifically,” stated Dr Anne Virkki, head of planetary radar at the observatory.
“But due to the fact we’re all considering Covid-19 these functions make it appear like 1998 OR2 remembered to wear a mask.”
The asteroid is classed as a PHO (probably dangerous object) because it’s miles bigger than a hundred and forty metres and will come within five million miles of Earth’s orbit, however no acknowledged PHO poses an immediate chance to the planet. Nevertheless, scientists keep to preserve an eye on the asteroid to peer how it’s going to move past 2020.
“The radar measurements allow us to realize more precisely where the asteroid will be within the destiny, consisting of its future close procedures to Earth,” said Flaviane Venditti, a studies scientist at the observatory.
“In 2079, asteroid 1998 OR2 will pass Earth about three.5 instances nearer than it’ll this year, so it is critical to recognise its orbit precisely.”
Officially dubbed Asteroid (52768) 1998 OR2, the gap rock will come within 3.nine million miles (6.29 million km) of our planet – this is 16 times the distance to the Moon. The asteroid is classed as a near-Earth object (NEO), which means it orbits the Sun within 1.three astronomical units (au) – approximately 120,842,549 miles. Every month dozens of Near-Earth Asteroids come within 0.05 au of Earth – about 4,647,790 miles from our planet.
What We recognise about the Asteroid (52768) 1998 OR?
The area rock changed into first noticed inside the solar system in 1998 and has because been tracked by NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS).
With nearly 30 years of observations underneath its belt, the US space organisation could be very assured the rock does not pose any hazard to Earth.
NASA’s preliminary estimates display Astroid OR2 measures somewhere between 0.9 miles and 2.54 miles (1.5km and 4.1km) in diameter.
More current radar pictures snapped by means of the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico have narrowed the asteroid down to just 1.2 miles (2km) across.
The Observatory stated: “The Arecibo Observatory is using its powerful radar gadget to track (52768) 1998 OR2, a close to-Earth asteroid to be able to safely bypass the Earth at a distance 16 instances further than the space to the Moon on April 29.
“The radar information verify that 1998 OR2 is about 2km in diameter and rotates once each 4.1 hours, as became suggested by optical observations.
“The range-Doppler pix uniquely revealed the overall shape of the asteroid and some smaller-scale topographic capabilities, which includes hills and ridges.” Anne Virkki, head of Planetary Radar at the Observatory, jokingly said the asteroid appears to be wearing a facemask within the pictures.
She stated: “The small-scale topographic capabilities consisting of hills and ridges on one give up of asteroid 1998 OR2 are charming scientifically.
“But considering the fact that we’re all thinking about COVID-19 these capabilities make it appear to be 1998 OR2 remembered to put on a mask.”
How to observe the Asteroid OR2 stay tonight:
The Virtual Telescope Project will flow the asteroid’s flyby stay tonight from Italy.
Dr Masi stated he’s going to track the gap rock, starting at 7pm BST (6pm UTC).
The Virtual Telescope hosts its free stay streams on its internet site and YouTube for all to enjoy. You also can watch the movement inside the video participant below – truely hit play before the printed starts.
Dr Masi joins the streams to discuss astronomy and the science at the back of the determined phenomena.