Warning: Asteroid half the size of Mount Everest

An asteroid that could mean the end of human civilisation will soon be flying by Earth

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An asteroid that is half the size of Mount Everest is set to fly by Earth on April 29, 2020. Thankfully the asteroid is not set to collide with Earth, reassures NASA. However, if this asteroid did collide with Earth, it would mean the end of human civilisation. According to NASA, the asteroid is large enough to cause global effects”, as it is estimated to be between 1.1 and 2.5 miles wide.

The asteroid is called 52768 (1998 OR2) and was first spotted in 1998. It is predicted to pass within 3,908,791 miles of Earth, whilst moving at a speed of 19,461 miles per hour (31,320 kilometres per hour). The asteroid is set to pass by Earth April 29, at 4:56 AM ET, according to NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies. 

Whilst this asteroid may seem large, it is not the largest asteroid we have knowledge of. Instead this title belongs to asteroid 3122 Florence (1981 ET3). 3122 Florence flew by and missed colliding with the Earth on September 1, 2017, and is set to pass Earth again September 2, 2057. That asteroid was estimated to be between 2 1/2 and 5 1/2 miles wide. 

 

Bibliography

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/03/world/asteroid-1998-or2-close-flyby-earth-scn-trnd/index.html

Image source: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/asteroid-space-stars-meteor-1477065/