Washington, July 22 (): A huge asteroid with a size of around 4500 meters wide will fly by Earth today. It will pass through space 14 times further from earth than the Moon. However, it has no chance of hitting Earth. Today it comes to its closest point towards Earth.
The said asteroid 2002 AM31 will pass by Earth at a range of about 3.2 million miles (5.2 million kilometers). The space rock will be tracked live by cameras on earth and in space. The 2002 AM31 asteroid will be telecast live by many space sites.
Named AM31, the rock was first spotted in 2002 by Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research and has been carefully traced since then. Due to its size and distance, 2002 AM31 is categorized as ‘potentially hazardous’. However, it has no chance of hitting Earth.
Today the Slooh Space Camera skywatching website will host two live webcasts to offer Internet viewers to view the space rock from telescopes at the Prescott Observatory in Arizona and the Canary Islands, off the west coast of Africa.
Slooh’s Patrick Paolucci and Astronomy magazine columnist Bob Berman said “Near Earth objects are no longer treasures only for the paranoid, or for those who secretly and strangely are rooting for an early apocalypse.”
Special arrangements have been made to watch the incident live; the Slooh website will stream the event online on www.slooh.com. Sunday’s webcasts are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET and 11 p.m. Paolucci, Slooh’s Paul Cox and Astronomy Magazine’s Bob Berman will provide commentary during the asteroid flyby webcast.
Earlier, another large asteroid 2012 LZ flew by at a similar distance on June 14, 2012.
Astronomers are very happy these days. Just a week or so ago, there was a solar flare giving a tough time to scientists and astronomers across the world.