The head of Jeddah’s astronomer, Eng. Majid Abu Zahira, said on Facebook’s Facebook page that the information reported by social media on the possibility of the asteroid colliding with the asteroid 52768 (1998 OR2) in the globe in late April 2020 is news “unfounded”.
The astronomer of Jeddah added that the asteroid, which is between 1.6 and 4 kilometers wide, will fly near the planet on Wednesday, April 29th, at 11:56 AM Saudi time, from a distance of 6 million and 290 thousand and 589 kilometers, which means that it will be far and faint. Very unlooked with the naked eye, it will pass safely as it moves 31,319 km per hour.
Abu Zahira continued, saying: “If we assume that the asteroid (1998 OR2) is in a collision course, it is large enough to cause global damage, so it will be monitored.”
The astronomer of Jeddah explained that the asteroid has been classified as a potentially dangerous object because it will pass near the Earth’s orbit and not because it will collide with it, stressing that it is not currently included in the NASA list of objects that might collide with Earth in the future.
“If this asteroid was on its way to collision with the Earth, NASA would have raised the risk on the Torino scale, and made calculations to determine the location of its potential collision, and launched warning and emergency programs globally … but this did not happen,” said engineer Abu Zahira.
The astronomer of Jeddah added, scientifically, there is no large asteroid or comet that will collide with the Earth at any time in the near future; all known asteroids that are potentially dangerous have a weak chance of colliding with the globe within the next 100 years.
The head of the Jeddah astronomer added, “The sky is being monitored around the clock through observatories spread around the world, searching for large asteroids that can damage our planet, and determine their paths through space, especially those that cross a distance of 48 million and 280 thousand and 320 kilometers from Earth by The use of earth and space telescopes.
Eng. Abu Zahira pointed out that «the program for monitoring near-Earth objects detects these objects and determines their physical nature and predicts their paths to determine whether it could be dangerous to our planet in the future».