Close, but no impact – Asteroid to fly near Earth

Space Science

(Image: NASA)

MYSTERY WIRE — In less than two months, an asteroid which could be 2.5 miles wide will fly by Earth. However, it is not expected to hit Earth. But in space terms it’s coming really close on April 29th.

According to NASA, if the asteroid this size did collide with Earth it is “large enough to cause global effects.” The asteroid is called 52768 (1998 OR2) and it was first spotted in 1998. It will pass within 3,908,791 miles of Earth, moving at 19,461 miles per hour.

The animation depicts a mapping of the positions of known near-Earth objects (NEOs) at points in time over the past 20 years, and finishes with a map of all known asteroids as of January 2018. Asteroid search teams supported by NASA’s NEO Observations Program have found over 95 percent of near-Earth asteroids currently known. There are now over 18,000 known NEOs and the discovery rate averages about 40 per week. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The close-call will happen on Wednesday, April 29, at 1:56 a.m. Pacific time, according to NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies. This department tracks Near-Earth Objects that could collide with Earth. While it’s the largest asteroid expected to come close to Earth within the next two months, it’s not the largest ever. That was the asteroid called 3122 Florence (1981 ET3). It flew by Earth on September 1, 2017 and is estimated to be up to 5.5 miles wide.

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