If you’ve been scrolling through random news articles over the past few weeks, you may have come across an article about a large asteroid that may end human civilization if it strikes the Earth. Just to be clear, this asteroid will not hit Earth and will barely have any effect on civilization.
NASA is currently tracking this asteroid that is headed our way. The asteroid (52768) 1998 is about 4 km wide, making it the biggest asteroid to pass Earth this year. The asteroid will come closest to Earth on April 29th – it will be about 6 million kilometers away from us, a large enough distance for us to not worry about a potential collision. The asteroid will travel at about 31,320 km/hr and will appear as a slow-moving star to observers here on Earth. Astronomers around the world are already tracking this asteroid – below is an image of the asteroid taken by a robotic telescope called Elena on March 6th.
Although this asteroid will have no effect on us, it’s still cool to see a moving object in space. The movement cannot be detected with a naked eye, but the asteroid’s flyby will be streamed online for viewers all over the world on the 29th.