Recently an odd-shaped asteroid was spotted by the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. The space object, dubbed 1998 OR2, appears to ‘wear a face mask.’ The picture of the ‘masked’ space rock was published on April 23. Asteroid OR2 will approach Earth on April 29, and it will be almost 16 times farther than the distance to the Moon. The asteroid doesn’t represent a threat at all, and astronomers predicted another visit in 2079.
The Masked Asteroid OR2 Will Pass Earth Soon
Astronomers witness before some of the strangest space objects’ shapes, such as a tumbling dice or a hippo. The blurred imagery offers many chances for active imaginations to kick in. But, according to the National Science Foundation, asteroid 1998 OR2 is unique, and it has been called a PHO (Potentially Hazardous Object). This category of cosmic feature doesn’t represent an immediate threat to us.
They’re usually approximately 150 meters and fly within 5 miles of our planet’s orbit. Therefore, discoveries similar to those made at the Arecibo Observatory are utilized to find out their next trajectories. Scientists will have, too, more answers when it comes to how dangerous an asteroid could be.
Asteroid OR2 Is Not a Threat
“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,” detailed Anne Virkki, the head of the Arecibo Observatory’s Planetary Radar.
The radar measurements are also significant because scientists might find out more where the space object will be in the future, including its future visits to Earth.
Asteroid OR2 was monitored since April 13. The team of researchers will continue to gather information until April 23 when it will no longer be noticeable from the Arecibo Observatory. 1998 OR2 is for sure quite the oddity, but as long as it doesn’t pose any danger, we continue to admire the masked-asteroid.