Biggest Asteroid to Fly Past Earth on 30 April: How to Watch Live

The asteroid, called 1998 OR2, will make its closest approach a 5:30 AM IST.

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Lifestyle
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Asteroid 1998 OR2
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A large near-Earth asteroid will safely fly past our planet on Thursday morning, 30 April, providing astronomers with an exceptional opportunity to study the 2-kilometer-wide (1.5-mile-wide) object in great detail.

The asteroid, called 1998 OR2, will make its closest approach at 5:30 AM IST. While this is known as a “close approach” by astronomers, it’s still very far away.

The asteroid will get no closer than about 6.3 million kilometers (3.9 million miles), passing more than 16 times farther away than the Moon.

According to Centre of Near Earth Object Studies, close approaches by large asteroids like 1998 OR2 are quite rare. The previous close approach by a large asteroid was made by asteroid Florence in September 2017.

Amid the novel coronavirus pandemic on Earth, scientists at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico have also noticed that features of the topography of the asteroid, joking that the “asteroid remembered to bring its masks.”

How to Watch Asteroid 1998 OR2 Close Approach to Earth?

Since it will be bright daylight in India when the asteroid passed Earth, here is how you can watch a livestream of the biggest asteroid this year:

1. The Virtual Telescope Project
The Virtual Telescope Project in Italy will be tracking the asteroid in real-time and the live stream will kick off at 12:00 am on 30 April IST.

2. Slooh
Slooh will broadcast a live telescope view of Asteroid 1998 OR2’s approach that will kick off at 4:30am IST on 30 April, which is an hour before the asteroid will be at its closest point to Earth. You can tune in directly on their official websiteor watch via their YouTube page.

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