CATASTROPHE EVERYWHERE……

By Shubham Diwate

(First COVID-19, NOW Asteroid….)

29 April, 2020

In amid of COVID-19 outbreak we have one more situation next to door of planet. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) under Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking Program discovered the ASTEROID 1998 OR2 in July 1998 and in past two decades astronomers have studied it very keenly and precisely. Because of which we understood its orbital trajectory and can say confidently that it possess no possibility of impact for at least next 200 years. Its next close approach to Earth will occur in 2079, when it will pass by closer (only about four times the lunar distance).

NASA classified it as a “potentially hazardous” asteroid due to its large size and the fact that its orbit intersects with Earth’s orbit around the sun. Astronomers have estimated Asteroid 1998or2 has a diameter of approximately 1.2 miles (i.e.2km). It is as big as the National Mall in Washington D.C. Close approaches by such large asteroids very rare. Last approach by large asteroid was made by Asteroid FLORENCE in September 2017. On average, we expect asteroids of this size to fly by our planet this close roughly once every five years.

Telescope will be used to watch this so called “STAR PARTY” with Slooh’s two Planewave 17-inch (432 millimeter) telescopes in Chile and the Canary Islands to capture live images of Asteroid 1998 or2.

Slooh (Slooh.com) started broadcast live telescope views of the near-Earth asteroid, called 1998 OR2, on April 28 beginning at 7 p.m. EDT (23:00 GMT). You can watch it live here on Space.com, courtesy of Slooh, or directly from Slooh.com and its YouTube page. The Virtual Telescope Project  also started a free webcast on Wednesday (April 29) beginning at 2:30 p.m. EDT (18:30 GMT).

“Star Party” will commence today 5:56 am EST (i.e. 3:26pm IST).

Also, Venus is now so bright that keen-eyed observers may be able to spot it in broad daylight, although the planet is best viewed after sunset. Look for the planet above the west-southwest horizon as the skies begin to darken this evening.

The “evening star” which is already the second-brightest object in the night sky (second only to the moon), is now shining at magnitude -4.7, or nearly three times brighter than it was at its faintest in late 2019.

More information about CNEOS, asteroids and near-Earth objects can be found at:

https://cneos.jpl.nasa.gov

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