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Asteroids: 4-kilometer asteroid 1998 OR2 to pass by Earth this month
NASA has especially kept tabs on asteroids that are approaching Earth, even more so the rocks that are almost as large as the asteroid that caused the dinosaurs’ extinction. The long-monitored 4-kilometer wide 1998 OR2 is going Earthbound this month.
Express reports that the asteroid 1998 OR2 will be making its approach on the planet at the end of the month, on the 29th. Although this asteroid will only be passing by Earth’s orbit when the time comes, the size of OR2 alone is enough to remind scientists of the potential dangers coming from outside the Earth. Even asteroids that are relatively smaller than OR2 have also posed a threat, and one prime example would be the asteroid that caused the Chelyabinsk incident in Russia back in 2013, suggesting that even smaller asteroids can slip through the asteroid trackers and pack a punch if it makes an impact.
As of now, NASA predicts that OR2 is orbiting around the Sun at a speed of 8.7 kilometers per second or 31, 320 kilometers per hour. OR2 has an estimated size of 1.1 to 4 kilometers in diameter and is therefore classified as a Potentially-Hazardous Object or PHO. Upon arrival, the closest that OR2 will get is at 6.29 million kilometers away from Earth.
This is still extremely far in Earth terms, but it is close enough to be seen and even be picked up by amateur telescopes. Astronomer Gianluca Masi of the Virtual Telescope Project has already taken a photo of the colossal asteroid OR2. Those who are interested may also witness the asteroid’s arrival as it will be streamed via the Virtual Telescope Project on the date itself.
Meanwhile, some Christian evangelists claim that a possible collision of one particular asteroid was already foreseen in the biblical scripture. Christian writer Thomas Horn said that an asteroid collision or a cataclysmic collision from space was foretold in the book of Revelation. In a piece for Charisma News, Horn wrote: “Revelation 8 and the first four trumpet judgments appear to describe the different stages of a singular event - a large asteroid impact on planet Earth, which I predict is coming in 2029 in the form of the Asteroid Apophis.”