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A Huge Asteroid is due to fly by the Earth on April 29!

huge asteroid is due to fly by Earth
huge asteroid is due to fly by Earth

Before we dive into the discussion of a huge asteroid which is due to fly by earth on Wednesday, we should explore some basic information about Asteroids. After hearing this news, some people who are not  well informed about space will ask following questions. So for those newbies lets go through these first!

what is an Asteroid?

According to NASA, Asteroid is a small and rocky objects that orbit the Sun. Even though asteroids orbit the Sun like planets, they are much smaller than planets.

What are asteroids made of?

They are mostly composed of silicon and oxygen which are two most abundant materials found in our planet Earth. There are also metallic asteroids which are composed of 80% iron and 20% mixture of other metals like nickel. iridium platinum, palladium, gold, magnesium and other precious metals like osmium, ruthenium and rhodium.

Where did asteroids come from?

The remains of the formation of our Solar system is known as Asteroids. Our Solar System started about 4.6 billion years ago when dust and a huge cloud of gas collapsed. Most of the material fell into the centre of cloud and formed the Sun, some of the condensing dust turned into planets. But various huge objects which never got the chance to be incorporated into planets are now known as Asteroids. In other words they are left overs from the time when our Solar system was formed.

Where can Asteroids be found?

In our Solar System, there are lots of asteroids which live in the region between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter also known as an Asteroid Belt. Apart from these asteroids, there are other asteroids which are found in the orbital path of planets. In other words, such asteroids follow the same path as their planet. Our planet Earth also have few asteroids like this.

How many Asteroids are there in our Solar System?

As you can imagine, there are millions of interstellar asteroids in our Solar system. In an asteroid belt, scientists have estimated that there are between 1.1 and 1.9 million asteroids which are larger than 1 kilometre (0.6 mile) in diameter. Apart from these huge asteroids, scientists also estimates that the belt also has millions asteroids which are smaller in other words less than 100km across. These small ones are more difficult to detect. Overall, some scientist estimates that there could be 150 million asteroids in the whole Solar System.

Now, that we have discussed the basics of Asteroids in our Solar system, let’s talk about the one which is due to pass on April 29.

Breaking News!

A huge – very huge asteroid is due to fly by the Earth on April 29, 2020. This asteroid also known as (52768) 1998 OR2 will fly by at a safe distance of some 4 million miles (6 million km), which is about 16 times the Earth-moon distance. It will be moving at 19,461 miles per hour.

Scientist suggest that this will be the biggest asteroid to fly by Earth with in the next two month. According to current estimate, the asteroid is mostly spherical and almost 2.5 miles wide. It will be closest to Earth on April 29 at around 5:56 a.m Eastern Daylight Time (09:56 UTC; translate UTC to your time). This Asteroid was first spotted in 1998 by scientists in Haleakala Gamma Ray Observatory.

Even though this huge asteroid was classified as a potentially hazardous object flying near Earth’s orbit, it is not on the NASA’s list of potential future Earth impact events. Such events data is gathered by NASA’s Sentry System, According to NASA, this system is “a highly automated collision monitoring system that continually scans the most current asteroid catalog for possibilities of future impact with Earth over the next 100 years.”

Professional observatories like an Arecibo observatory in Puerto rico have been pointing their telescopes at this huge asteroid already. Simultaneously, new astronomers are also eager to watch this slow moving STAR with their much smaller telescopes. Like us if you don’t have access to a telescope, then don’t worry, we have a link for you to view it live. In Rome Virtual Telescope Project , will host a free online public viewing of the Astroid on April 28, 2020.

Will the huge asteroid hit us?

See, nothing to worry about, a huge rock will just fly pass our planet, it won’t hurt us and you will be able to see this slow moving STAR on the live link given above.

Let us know If you have any questions or suggestions about Asteroids. Share your thoughts in the comments section!

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Muntaha Saleem
She is an Editor-in-Chief . She is a Telecom engineer and a blogger. She loves to blog about latest technology news and products.

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