A one-and-a-half-mile-wide asteroid is making an in depth — however protected — strategy to Earth on Wednesday, and newbie astronomers will have the ability to watch through a livestream from the consolation of their properties.
The rocky object, known as the 1998 OR2, handed by no nearer than about four million miles, in keeping with NASA.
It made its closest strategy to Earth simply earlier than 6 am ET. The Digital Telescope Undertaking, operated by Italian astronomer Gianluca Masi, may have a livestream on its web site starting at 2:30 p.m. ET because it continues to fly previous Earth.
Whereas many astronomers think about 1998 OR2 to be making an in depth strategy to the planet, it’s nonetheless very distant.
Thus far, in truth, that it can’t be seen with the bare eye or a small telescope, the European Area Company tweeted. The asteroid is “simply on the restrict of what’s seen with medium-sized telescopes,” the company wrote.
In keeping with NASA, the scale of 1998 OR2, which is categorized as “probably hazardous,” makes it shiny sufficient to be seen with some newbie astronomy gear.
Paul Chodas, the supervisor of NASA’s Middle for Close to Earth Object Research program, stated folks hoping to catch a glimpse of the asteroid can achieve this utilizing moderate-sized telescopes and beneath darkish skies.
To trace it, he advised utilizing the Sky & Telescope’s star chart. Chodas stated the asteroid will seem as a star “shifting very slowly via the fastened stars.”
NASA started monitoring the item in July 1998 after it was found by the group’s Close to-Earth Asteroid Monitoring program.
“In consequence, we perceive its orbital trajectory very exactly, and we will say with confidence that this asteroid poses no risk of influence for not less than the following 200 years,” NASA wrote in a press launch. “Its subsequent shut strategy to Earth will happen in 2079, when it can cross by nearer — solely about 4 occasions the lunar distance.”
Massive asteroids making an in depth strategy are uncommon, most just lately in September 2017 when the 3-mile-wide Florence whizzed previous Earth.