'Hazardous’ Asteroid Larger Than Golden Gate Bridge Rushes Towards Earth
Astronomers in panic mode as space rock hurtle towards the planet
Astronomers have been monitoring a large and 'potentially hazardous' asteroid - 2017 VR12 - since it was detected in November last year.
NASA says the enormous space rock, measuring larger than The Golden Gate Bridge, will shave past planet earth in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The asteroid, which measures up to 470 meters (1,542ft) in diameter, is current,y traveling through space at 14,093mph (22,680kph).
NASA scientists are paying close attention due to its size and the fact that it will come so close to the earth. Astronomers have claimed that if the space rock was to strike the earth it would cause significant damage, the Minor Planet Center also designated the asteroid as “potentially hazardous.”
RT reports: Measuring up to 470 meters (1,542ft) in diameter the rock is traveling through space at 14,093mph (22,680kph). Because it will come so close to Earth and is big enough to cause significant damage, if it were to strike, the Minor Planet Center designated the asteroid as “potentially hazardous.”
However, fear not, it will not crash into Earth, rather it will pass by at about three times the distance of the moon. It will be nearly 1.4 million km from Earth (870,000 miles) at its closest point during the flyby.
Apollo-type PHA 2017 VR12. Diameter 230-510m. Close approach March 7th. Distance of 0.01au. The asteroid can be seen here passing through two different star fields#SpotTheAsteroid@AsteroidDay @NEOShieldTeam @CloseApproaches @AsteroidTracker @AstronomyFM pic.twitter.com/9ShiEGJoBl— Northolt Branch Obs (@NBObservatories) March 5, 2018
Next week, a large (200-450m) #asteroid will approach earth to within 3.8 lunar distances (<1.5 million km), becoming visible in amateur telescopes later this week, reaching mag <12 at closest approach.— Gideon van Buitenen (@giddgvb) March 1, 2018
See https://t.co/j7fUuJRXIp pic.twitter.com/pe8Xtcxxbm
The asteroid is a very good radar target for professional astronomers while amateurs might be able to catch it with smaller telescopes.
Next week, a large (200-450m) #asteroid will approach earth to within 3.8 lunar distances (<1.5 million km), becoming visible in amateur telescopes later this week, reaching mag <12 at closest approach.
NASA’s calculations predict it will be at least 177 years before the asteroid again comes as close to Earth as it will be on Wednesday. Ruptly will be live streaming the close encounter with the asteroid through Virtual Telescope's super high-powered telescope.