A very (very, very) big asteroid to pass close-by!

Round orbits of planets in the inner solar system, with big oval orbit of asteroid.
Orbit of asteroid (52768) 1998 OR2. It requires 3 years and 8 months to orbit the sun once. It gets nearly as far from the sun as Jupiter (about 5 times Earth’s distance from the sun). Image via NASA/ JPL.

A big – very big – asteroid passed relatively close to Earth this morning (April 29, 2020). Asteroid (52768) 1998 OR2 passed at a safe distance, at some 4 million miles (6 million km), or about 16 times the Earth-moon distance. It’s the biggest asteroid to fly by Earth this year (that we know about so far); according to current estimates, it’s probably a bit over a mile wide (2 km) and mostly spherical. Closest approach was April 29 around 4:56 a.m. Central Daylight Time (09:56 UTC). An online viewing of the asteroid from the Virtual Telescope Project in Rome, Italy – originally scheduled for April 28 – has been rescheduled due to clouds last night. The new time for the online viewing is today (April 29, 2020) starting at 1:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time (18:30 UTC; translate UTC to your time).

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Father: "He never amounted to anything". Mother: "Who the hell does he think he is"? Former Teacher: "Smart as a bag of hammers". Former Boss: "Condescending". Brother: "Mom loves me more".
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