A giant asteroid will soon fly by Earth and people think it looks like it’s wearing a face mask

Asteroid 52768 (1998 OR2) is 1.2 million miles wide and will be passing by Earth this week. And based on new photos from the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, people think it appears to be wearing a face mask. (LOOK: This Phenomenal Photo of the Moon Took 72 Shots to Complete) “The small-scale topographic features […]

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a giant asteroid will soon fly by earth and people think it looks like its wearing a face mask - A giant asteroid will soon fly by Earth and people think it looks like it’s wearing a face mask

Asteroid 52768 (1998 OR2) is 1.2 million miles wide and will be passing by Earth this week. And based on new photos from the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, people think it appears to be wearing a face mask.

Asteroid 1998 OR2 NASA - A giant asteroid will soon fly by Earth and people think it looks like it’s wearing a face mask

(LOOK: This Phenomenal Photo of the Moon Took 72 Shots to Complete)

“The small-scale topographic features such as hills and ridges on one end of asteroid 1998 OR2 are fascinating scientifically,” said Anne Virkki, head of planetary radar at Arecibo Observatory, in a statement. “But since we are all thinking about Covid-19, these features make it look like 1998 OR2 remembered to wear a mask.”

The asteroid was first spotted in 1998 and was considered to be “large enough to cause global effects” at the time of discovery.

Thankfully, it will pass within 3,908,791 miles of Earth, moving at 19,461 miles per hour. That’s about 16 times the distance between the Earth and the moon.

NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies says that the flyby should occur on Wednesday, April 29, at 5:56 a.m. ET.

“The radar measurements allow us to know more precisely where the asteroid will be in the future, including its future close approaches to Earth,” said Flaviane Venditti, a research scientist at the observatory, in a statement. “In 2079, asteroid 1998 OR2 will pass Earth about 3.5 times closer than it will this year, so it is important to know its orbit precisely.”

What do you think about this? 

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The post A giant asteroid will soon fly by Earth and people think it looks like it’s wearing a face mask appeared first on When In Manila.

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