On April 29, the giant asteroid 1998 OR2 will reach its closest distance to Earth. It is an asteroid classified as “potentially dangerous”, but this is not because there is a real probability of impact. It is simply a predefined category for all those asteroids greater than 150 metres and whose minimum distance from our planet is less than 0.05 astronomical units, some 7 million kilometres.
The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico offers us images and details of this asteroid, which they have been studying since 8 April. The calculations show figures of at least 1.8 kilometres wide by 4.1 kilometres long, with an average diameter of 2.06 kilometres.
Asteroid (52768) 1998 OR2, simply known as 1998 OR2 is an asteroid with an eccentric orbit. The trajectory of the asteroid is well known and until 2197 its orbit is well calculated. The asteroid is approaching at a speed of 8.69 kilometres per second and although theoretically it is considered close to the Earth, in reality it will pass at a distance 16.4 times the distance between the Earth and the Moon or 0.042 the distance between the Earth and the Sun. In comparison, Venus is located at 0.29 astronomical units.
The closest point of its orbit with our planet is 6.28 million kilometers. That’s enough to make the probability of impact zero.
Have you been hearing about asteroid 1998 OR2’s close approach on April 29? Rest assured that this asteroid will safely pass Earth by 3.9 million miles/6.2 million km. Have other questions about #asteroids and #planetarydefense? Ask them using #askNASA! pic.twitter.com/a3WhttAoED
— NASA Asteroid Watch (@AsteroidWatch) April 14, 2020