New Delhi: The biggest asteroid of the year, Asteroid 1998 OR2, almost the size of Mount Everest is expected to zoom past Earth today. According to NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, the flyby is expected to occur at 3:26 pm IST on Wednesday and scientists are keeping a close track of the asteroid using the Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) system. Also Read - Asteroid the Size of Mount Everest Will Fly Close to Earth Tomorrow, Is It Dangerous? Know Here
If you too are a space enthusiast and wish to see the asteroid live in action, there are many observatories offering to stream the event live. The event can be witnessed during the wee hours of the morning in India on April 30.
Virtual Telescope Project: The Virtual Telescope Project in Italy will be tracking the asteroid in real time and the live stream will kick off at 12:00 am on April 30 IST. Dr Gianluca Masi, head of the Virtual Telescope, said the asteroid’s sheer size will make it bright enough for telescopes to track.
Slooh: Slooh will broadcast live telescope views of the near-Earth asteroid, at 4:30am IST on April 30, on Slooh.com and its YouTube page. This webcast will be free for anyone to watch.
However, the website will be holding a ‘star party’ on Zoom for their paid subscribers, where scientists will answer questions related to the phenomenon.
You don’t need to panic
There is no need to panic as this asteroid is not going to hit the Earth and will miss us by a distance of 0.04205 astronomical units (AU) or 3,908,791 miles, as per NASA.
Although the 1998 OR2 has been classified as a potentially hazardous object due to its close approach to earth, it will not cause any collision. Even at its closest approach, the asteroid will still be about 16 times farther from us than the moon is from the Earth, researchers have stressed.