Not to alarm anyone, but there is indeed an asteroid hurtling to earth. Before we go on we will answer your first question. Yes it is considered “dangerous”.
It’s classified as a “potentially hazardous” asteroid because it is over 500 feet in diameter and closer than 4,650,000 miles to Earth.
However, before we start some end-of-days panic, let us be clear:
“Although this asteroid is not projected to impact Earth, it is important to understand the characteristics of these types of objects to improve impact-risk mitigation technologies,” says Anne Virkki, the head of planetary radar at Arecibo Observatory.
1998 OR2 (this particular rocks name) will be nearly 4 million miles away from Earth next Wednesday at around 5:59 a.m. ET — which classifies it as a “potentially hazardous” asteroid despite the impossibility of it posing a threat to Earth any time soon.
At around 1 mile in diameter, according to NASA, it’s been traveling at nearly 20,000 miles per hour since its discovery in 1998. Although it may not come anywhere near Earth in the coming weeks, Flaviane Venditti, who is a researcher at the observatory, said that in 2079, it “will pass Earth about 3.5 times closer than it will this year.” So eventually it may become increasingly problematic.
The asteroid does however seem to be an omen however as images that have surfaced shows us that the asteroid appears to be wearing a mask.
As the asteroid brings itself ever closer to our planet, it looks as if it’s wearing its own mask.
“The small-scale topographic features such as hills and ridges on one end of asteroid 1998 OR2 are fascinating scientifically,” said Anne Virkki, the head of planetary radar at Arecibo Observatory in a statement. “But since we are all thinking about COVID-19 these features make it look like 1998 OR2 remembered to wear a mask.”
What do you think this means? Is it an ominous warning? An omen? Let us know in the comments!