As the coronavirus continues to consume our attention, we shouldn’t let it distract us from cosmic events. Today one of the largest and brightest asteroids of the year is passing near earth. The asteroid named 1998 OR2 Will is passing by earth close enough to be visible with most astronomical equipment. Several noted astronomers are also going to lie stream the event which should prove a sight to see.
Asteroid 1998 OR2 Is approximately 1 to 2 1/2 miles wide (1.61 to kilometers) Which will make it bright enough to be able to see with most telescopes from the earth. Unfortunately, though not for very long because it is traveling at, 19,500 miles an hour, the asteroid will complete its close approach to earth and be on its way. Scientist predicts this to be at about 5:56 Eastern standard time. The asteroid is large and has been classified as a potential threat to earth. However, astronomers have confirmed that the closest the asteroid will approach earth would be just about 16 times further than the moon orbits earth. So, there shouldn’t be much chance of a Deep Impact or Armageddon type scenario, though those movies were quite.
Though the asteroid will be observable by most telescopes as a bright light the more powerful astronomical instruments will make out much more accurate data.
This is due to the fact that the large size of asteroid you will reflect more light from the sun become more of this. One of the systems that is going to be used to live streaming the asteroid 1998 or2 close past is the virtual telescope project run by astronomer Gianluca Masi. Despite all the effort to try and catch a glimpse of the asteroid as it passes by the ironic nature of lights travel it will already be gone. Since light takes a long time to cover the vast distances space what we see in the heavens is actually where something was minutes or even hours ago.
Though the coronavirus has definitely consumed much of our thoughts over the last important to remember that there are other things to catch our attention. Such as the passage of 1998 OR2 as it makes its journey through the solar system. An endless voyage through the stars uncaring where it goes, when it will end, or who observes it. As far as we know only we will mark such events, even in our darkest times some of us still watch the stars.