NASA is presently observing an enormous asteroid heading towards us on a “close approach” trajectory at more than 48,000mph (77,248kmh).
The news comes to light less than a week after NASA’s tracking systems first spotted the object in the solar system. The flyby is anticipated to pass us by Wednesday, April 29 at 4:56 AM ET, according to NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies.
This space rock was first identified by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) on February 27, 2020.
NASA has categorized the asteroid as an Apollo-type NEO or near-Earth object. The object is approximately 2.5 miles wide and has been named “52768 (1998 OR2)”. It was first discovered by NASA in 1998 and is said to be ‘big enough to cause a global catastrophe if it were to hit Earth.
NASA said: “Some asteroids and comets follow orbital paths that take them much closer to the Sun and therefore Earth – than usual.
The asteroid was categorized as a theoretically hazardous object as it passes near Earth’s orbit, but it’s not currently on NASA’s list of potential future Earth impact events. Those are gathered and monitored by NASA’s Sentry System, “an AI-driven collision monitoring system that constantly scans the potential asteroids for risks of future impact with Earth for the coming hundred years.”