A relatively small asteroid is supposed to whiz past our planet on Friday, March 2, and while it might appear like a tiny smidge of light flashing in a live webcast – the newfound celestial body is actually the size of a bus!
Known as 2018 DV1, the 23 feet (7 meters) wide) asteroid is all set to approach within 70,000 miles (113,000 kilometers) of Earth as it flies by, according to scientists associated with NASA's Asteroid Watch program – the asteroid tracking widget of which has made a note of its exact size.
A webcast with astrophysicist Gianluca Masi in Ceccano, Italy, will be held by The Virtual Telescope Project for this particular event. Certain views of the asteroid will also be featured on the webcast – all seen by a 16-inch (41 centimeters) robotic telescope at the Tenagra Observatories in Arizona.
The live webcast will be streamed on the Virtual Telescope website at 12:30 AM EST (-5:30 GMT)
Astronomers at Mount Lemmon Observatory in Arizona had first spotted the asteroid 2018 DV1 on Monday, February 26, using a telescope, as the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts updated.
But this upcoming asteroid whiz-by arrives right after another close asteroid encounter, by the 2018 DU which happened on Sunday, February 25. It had managed to get within 196,000 miles (315,000 km) of Earth during its journey.
Another asteroid, called 2017 VR12, is also being tracked by The Virtual Telescope Project, as its all scheduled for its own zoom past Earth on March 7. It will be nearly 870,000 miles (1.4 million km) from Earth at its closest point during the journey.
As shared by the Minor Planet Center, asteroid 2017 VR12 is 492 to 1,542 feet (150 to 470 m) wide. It is to be noted that this size compared with the distance it's going to be from Earth during its flyby, qualifies the object as a "potentially dangerous" asteroid.
But there's no reason to panic, as NASA classifies any near-Earth asteroid that is larger than 492-feet across in an orbit that approaches within 4.6 million miles (7.5 million km) as a potentially hazardous object.