1998 OR2, an Asteroid that is destined to pass by the Earth today with an estimated speed of 19,500 miles per hour. The asteroid’s diameter is considered to be in the range of 1.8-4.1 kilometres. It is said to be ‘potentially hazardous’ considering the close distance from which it is supposed to pass by. It in an astronomer’s terminology is classified as small planets, but if the asteroid happens to be big. They do name it as a ‘planetoid‘. The potentially hazardous 1998 OR2 is the brightest asteroid due to the close distance between earth’s surface and its trajectory.
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Live stream the journey of the Asteroid:
The Visual Telescope Project is supposed to show the live streaming of the course. But locals can easily view it with the help of small instruments. By the time the live stream starts, the asteroid will have reached its closest point from the Earth. As per the NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) this occurred at 5:56 a.m . ET when the distance of the asteroid from Earth was around 3.9 million miles. Which in easier terms is about 16 times the distance between our planet the earth and the moon.
Is it Dangerous ?
While this may seem far for any random person, this distance is relatively and significantly quite small in astronomical terms. Now as to why this is termed as potentially hazardous is because of its trajectory and its distance. 3.9 million miles is pretty far, and the trajectory of this particular asteroid has been known to astronomers since 1998. Which has been studied over and over again. But one slight difference over the centuries and millennia in its trajectory. Could cause much of a risk to our planet than it poses to as of now. Currently the scientists claim that according to the studies on its trajectory, it isn’t set to collide with the Earth for at least the next two hundred years.
Usually for a comet to be termed as potentially hazardous, it needs to have its trajectory’s point of closes contact within the 4.6 million miles and are large enough, estimated to be more than 460 feet in diameter, to cause significant regional damage in the event of an impact. And the 1998 OR2 is approximately 3.9 million miles which makes quite a lot of difference. Now the area of this isn’t that big as compared to usual huge ones but regardless of it, the asteroid does pose quite a bit of risk if in case of impact.
Future assumptions :
The asteroid is set to be seen next in 2079 according to studies on its current trajectory. “The radar measurements allow us to know more precisely where the asteroid will be in the future, including its future close approaches to Earth” Flaviane Venditti, a research scientist at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico—which is currently observing the space rock—said in a statement. “In 2079, asteroid 1998 OR2 will pass Earth about 3.5 times closer than it will this year, so it is important to know its orbit precisely.”