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Asteroid 2008 OS7 will pass close to Earth. It is much larger than the Palace of Culture and Science

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On Friday afternoon, asteroid 2008 OS7 will pass by Earth. Scientists estimate that it may be up to 480 meters in diameter. This means that it is almost twice as large as the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw.

Asteroid 2008 OS7 will be closest to our planet on Friday at 3:41 p.m. Polish time. According to astronomers, we can sleep soundly because the flight distance will be 2.8 million kilometers. The object will pass us at a speed of approximately 64,800 kilometers per hour. It is estimated to be between 210 and 480 meters in diameter, which means it may be almost twice as large as the Palace of Culture and Science in in Warsaw (which is 237 meters high).

The asteroid belongs to the Apollo group, or group asteroids close to Earth, whose orbits intersect not only the orbit of our planet, but also the orbit of Venus, and sometimes even the orbit of Mercury. The group’s name comes from the asteroid (1862) Apollo. Astronomers know nearly 19,000 asteroids of this type. In general, objects approaching the Earth (mainly asteroids) are called “Near-Earth objects”, in short – NEO. Scientists include in this group celestial bodies whose orbits are closer than 1.3 astronomical units from the Sun (an astronomical unit is the average distance of the Earth from the Sun, approximately 150 million kilometers). Several tens of thousands of NEO objects are known. They are discovered, cataloged and tracked by dedicated observation projects. Among them, the so-called potentially hazardous asteroids (PHA) are distinguished as those bodies that come within 0.05 astronomical units (19.5 distances to the Moon) and are large enough to would cause a disaster on a regional scale in the event of an impact (sizes larger than 140 meters). Asteroid (2008 OS7) belongs to the group of potentially dangerous ones.

2008 OS7 orbit (white line) and Earth’s orbit (blue line)ssd.jpl.nasa.gov

Main photo source: stock.adobe.com

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