The twitter handle of NASA – NASA Asteroid Watch mentions a large and potentially dangerous asteroid that will fly past the Earth tomorrow i.e. 29th April. The length of the asteroid is more than a mile and its width is between 1.8 to 4.1 kilometres. If any planet were to cross its path it could wreak great havoc. NASA has, however, assuaged all the fear and panic that had arisen due to this news by saying that it will cause no harm to Earth. It has also refuted any rumours of it coming on a collision path and has affirmed that it will pass by silently and safely.
The space agency has also mentioned that there is a lot to be learnt by studying this particular phenomenon. The approach of the asteroid can be viewed online even by smaller telescopes.
According to the information released on the official twitter handle of NASA the asteroid 1998 OR2 will be at a distance 3.9 million miles or 6.2 million kilometres from Earth while it passes by.
Rumours of the end of the human civilisation if it hits Earth have been doing the rounds and NASA has affirmed that it has not issued a warning about the asteroid 1998OR2 as those rumours are unfounded. It has gone on to add that they understand the orbit well and it will pass by safely at 16 times the distance to our moon, and therefore there should be no cause for alarm or panic.
NASA has also clarified that any objects that pass by Earth within 50 million kilometres are termed as near – Earth, and those that pass by within 8 million kilometres of Earth are subjects whose future paths they study. The twitter handle of NASA estimates the speed of the space rock racing through the cosmos at more than 31, 000 kmph.
The stream to witness the asteroid’s approach live via the Virtual Telescope Project that was founded by the astrophysicist Gianluca Masi will begin at 6 pm UTC ( 11.30 PM IST ) tonight and can be viewed both by professional and smaller telescopes.