Mile-wide asteroid to fly by Earth next month, according to Nasa tracking data

The asteroid is predicted to come close but fly past Earth next month

James Crump
Wednesday 04 March 2020 00:35
Nasa say the asteroid will miss Earth when it flys past next month.
Nasa say the asteroid will miss Earth when it flys past next month.

A large asteroid will fly close to but won't hit Earth next month, according to NASA data.

CNN reports that the asteroid, predicted to be between 1.1 and 2.5 miles wide is scheduled to fly past Earth on 29 April at 4:56am ET.

First spotted in 1998, the asteroid named 52768 (1998 OR2) will come within 3,908,791 miles of Earth.

NASA predicted the asteroid would be of concern when they first found it in 1998, saying it would be "large enough to cause global effects" alongside asteroid 1998 OH.

"Both are classified as 'potentially hazardous objects' because they pass periodically near Earth's orbit," said NASA in 1998.

Thankfully, the space agency is not currently listing the asteroid on their Earth Impact Monitoring page, a list detailing the objects most likely to collide with the planet.

There was a similar scare in August 2019 when a "small Asteroid of concern" was publicised, bu​t NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies confirmed it would narrowly miss Earth.​

Although the threat of an asteroid collision is slim for now, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine warned there may be a deadly asteroid in the near future.

“This is not about Hollywood, it’s not about the movies,” he said.

“This is ultimately about protecting the only planet we know, right now, to host life.”

At the time Space X CEO Elon Musk echoed Bridenstine's statement when downplaying last August's asteroid.

"But a big rock will hit Earth eventually and we currently have no defence.”

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