An Asteroid (ग्रहिका /గ్రహ శకలం) called "52768 (1998 OR2)"at 3.26 p.m. IST on 29th April, 2020 will have “Closest Approach to earth” passing at a distance of 0.42 AU i.e. 62,90,364 km. Which is 16 times of the distance between Earth and Moon. This is the closest for this asteroid can get to earth in next 59 years. The size of this asteroid is estimated to be 1.8 km - 4.1 km. And it’s moving at speed of 8.7 km/sec. This asteroid was discovered on 24th July 1998 by Haleakalā High Altitude Observatory, Hawaii and is Categorized as NEO (Near-Earth Object) and PHA (Potentially Hazardous Asteroid).
On 27 Apr 2020 in Live Broadcast NASA Scientists stated there is no chance for this space rock hitting the earth. However, in Corona times the social media is abuzz with videos creating fear and impact of this asteroid with Earth. And it also became an object for fear-mongering by some doomsayers.
Revolution/Rotation – Sun – Closest Approaches Details of 52768 (1998 OR2): Presently this asteroid revolves around Sun once in every 1344 Days i.e. 3.68 years.
After 2020 the next time this asteroid will have the closest approach to Earth is in 18th May 2031 at 0.12 AU (i.e. 1.9 Crore Km). Whereas the last time it came close to earth was in 12th March 2009 and was at 0.17 AU (i.e. 2.6 Crore km) from Earth. Prior to 2009, this asteroid had the closest approach to Earth only in the year 1950 on 30th May at a distance of 4.6 Crore km. Whereas compared to 2020 approach it will be more closer in 16th April 2079 traveling a distance of 17,72,652 km (0.011 A.U.) from the earth.
How Far or Close it is – Moon: On an average Moon is located at 384,402 km from Earth which is roughly is equal to 1 LD. So this ASTEROID 52768 (1998 OR2) is predicted to pass at 0.04205 AU or 16.36 LD. Which means this asteroid will pass 16 Times of the distance between Moon and Earth.
Not visible to Naked Eye – Telescopes: on day of its closest approach it will shine at 11 Magnitude so this asteroid is not visible to the naked eye but can be spotted with the help of Astronomical Telescopes