All the news that we consume begins to be impregnated, directly or indirectly, with some detail that refers to COVID-19. Even on an aesthetic level .
This is what has happened with the image that has spread of the asteroid approaching the Earth (with zero risk of collision): the brightness of the sun on its surface makes it appear that it is approaching our planet with a mask .
This fact has not gone unnoticed by the workers of the Arecibo Observatory , in Puerto Rico, who have spread the image on Twitter adding images of their own technicians with this facial protection in the context of the security measures in force around the world to make in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
#TeamRadar and the @NAICobservatory staff are taking the proper safety measures as we continue observations. This week we have been observing near-Earth asteroid 1998 OR2, which looks like it’s wearing a mask! It’s at least 1.5 km across and is passing 16 lunar distances away! pic.twitter.com/X2mQJCT2Qg
– Arecibo Radar (@AreciboRadar) April 18, 2020
The observatory has managed to observe the potentially dangerous asteroid 1998 OR2 , which it calculates to be at least 1.5 kilometers in diameter and whose trajectory will bring it closer to Earth, without risk of impact, on April 29 .
But there is no cause for alarm: Any asteroid that is within that range (which is equivalent to less than 7 million kilometers from Earth) and with a diameter greater than 150 meters is considered ‘potentially dangerous’.
The asteroid will fly at a speed of 8.69 km per second, at a minimum distance of 6.28 million kilometers above the surface of our planet, or approximately 16.4 times the distance between the Earth and the Moon . Just in case, yes, it comes protected with a mask.