Asteroid approaching the Earth with ‘face mask’.

by Duke Magazine

It has been noted that a huge asteroid is approaching the Earth, and it seems the body is being covered with a face mask, a dazing coincidence with the present coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world.

The space rock, with the name ‘1998 OR2’, will be at an approximate distance of 4 million miles away from Earth on Wednesday at 5:59 a.m. ET, and it has been classified as a “potentially hazardous” asteroid in spite its impossible threats that can be posed to the Earth soon.

A newly photographed imagery by Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico coins out the asteroid with a great amazement. Amusingly, as the asteroid approaches our planet Earth, it looks apparent that it is wearing its own mask, and may probably be carrying out its own social distancing ethics. 

Anne Virkki, head of planetary radar at Arecibo Observatory, said:

“The small-scale topographic features such as hills and ridges on one end of asteroid 1998 OR2 are fascinating scientifically,” 

“But since we are all thinking about COVID-19, these features make it look like 1998 OR2 remembered to wear a mask.”

It’s classified as a “potentially hazardous” asteroid because it is more than 500 feet in diameter, and with a close distance of about  4,650,000 miles to the Earth.

Although this asteroid is not envisioned to impact the Earth, but it is rather important to understand the characteristics of these types of objects to improve impact-risk mitigation technologies,” she said.

The asteroid, which is about 1 mile in diameter, has been traveling at nearly 20,000 mph since its discovery in the year 1998.

Though it may not come anywhere near Earth in the coming weeks, Flaviane Venditti, a researcher at the observatory, said in a statement that in 2079, it “will pass Earth about 3.5 times closer than it will this year.”

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