Published on Mar 4, 2020
An asteroid between 1.8 and 4.1 kilometres wide hurling through the solar system and classed as “potentially hazardous” by NASA will glide past Earth next month.
The space rock, called 52768 (1998 OR2) for the year of its discovery, won’t strike Earth but will come within 6.3 million kilometres at its closest when it arrives on April 29 at 8:56pm AEDT.
Large asteroids like 1998 OR2 rarely strike Earth but cause catastrophic damage when they do.
NASA said an impact by an asteroid larger than 1-2 kilometres “could degrade the global climate, leading to widespread crop failure and loss of life”.
“Such global environmental catastrophes, which place the entire population of the Earth at risk, are estimated to take place several times per million years on average,” the space agency said.