Late next month a large asteroid is set to buzz past Earth but lucky for you (also me, I guess) it’s not set to hit the planet. If trajectories do change between then and now don’t bother with some “But you told us Complex…” thing because nobody’s going to be worried at that point.
The newly discovered asteroid, 1998 OR2, was found alongside another potentially dangerous asteroid, called 1998 OH, NASA said in a release. Both measure about one mile in diameter.
The more imminent asteroid is set to be closest to Earth on April 29 and will be traveling at approximately 19,461 mph, according to NASA’s tracking data.
The asteroids were found by NASA’s Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) system, which is designed to track potentially dangerous asteroids and comets before they reach Earth.
“These discoveries come on the heels of last month’s installation of new state-of-the-art computing and data analysis hardware that speeds our search for near-Earth objects,” said NEAT Project Manager Dr. Steven Pravdo of JPL. “This shows that our efforts to find near-Earth objects are paying off.”
Follow-up observations made by Dr. David L. Rabinowitz of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory showed that neither asteroid posed a threat to Earth, according to NASA.
“Our goal is to discover and track all the potentially dangerous asteroids and comets long before they are likely to approach Earth,” said NEAT Principal Investigator Eleanor Helin. “The discovery of these two asteroids illustrates how NEAT is doing precisely what it is supposed to do.”