A Giant Asteroid Wearing A 'Face Mask' Will Soar Over Western Skies Tomorrow (PHOTOS)
It's 1.2 miles wide!
Bored on a Wednesday night? A mile-wide asteroid is hurtling past Earth this weekend and you can watch it soar across Western skies. Yes, it really is that big.
CBS Sacramento reports it's 1.2 miles wide!
This massive asteroid (aka 1998 OR2) was first spotted 22 years ago. Tomorrow, on April 29 it will soar past our planet at a mind-boggling speed of over 19,000 miles per hour.
How can you see something that's moving so fast?
Thanks to space tech, you can log into the Virtual Telescope website and watch it all happen.
You'll get clear footage and reassurance that if you stay up all night to see it, you can actually watch it happen.
But only super early risers (or night owls) can watch the phenomenon take place.
NASA said it's happening at 2:56 a.m. PST. So you'd better set your phone's alarms now. That's 5:56 a.m. on the east coast.
Don't worry — it's not headed towards earth.
But strange images from Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico shows the massive rock looks like it's wearing a face mask!
"Since we are all thinking about Covid-19, [its strange] features make it look like 1998 OR2 remembered to wear a mask," said Anne Virkki, head of planetary radar at Arecibo Observatory.
Since the asteroid is so big, it was originally declared a dangerous object.
After all, it's bigger than 500 feet and is flying within 5 million miles of Earth's orbit.
Experts at Arecibo can track asteroids to see if they will pose a risk to the Earth in the future.
According to the planetary team, the giant space rock will be flying a whole lot closer in times to come.
In 2079, it's expected to fly 3.5 times closer than it is this week. It's the largest asteroid to fly by our home, but it's not the biggest one ever.
Apparently, that award goes to the jaw-dropping 3122 Florence that flew by in 2017. Its claim to fame is a size of 2.5 to 5.5 miles wide.
Now, that's a nice boulder.