Washington: While the world grapples with coronavirus, seems there is another danger awaiting us! As confirmed by NASA previously, a giant asteroid almost the size of Mount Everest will fly by very close to Earth on Wednesday, April 29. Also Read - Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (52768) 1998 OR2 to Pass The Earth on April 28 - Read Details
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 - Killer Asteroid is Coming Towards Earth: 'Finally Some Good News,' Twitter Makes Fun
Is there anything to worry?
No, there is no need to panic as the asteroid is not going to hit the Earth. The asteroid named 1998 OR2, 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.
Asteroids are rocky objects in space that are leftovers from the formation of solar systems and often fly past Earth. However, most of them pose no danger to us.
“There are no asteroids which have any significant chance of hitting the Earth that are of any significant size,” Paul Chodas, manager of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said during a pre-recorded “NASA Science Live” webcast.