Coronavirus: Asteroid flying by earth next week looks like it is wearing a face mask

Updated: 25 April, 2020 11:22 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

A 1.5 km wide asteroid, which is almost half the size of Mount Everest is set to fly by Earth next week, and its shape has already generated curiosity among netizens

Picture/Arecibo Observatory-Twitter
Picture/Arecibo Observatory-Twitter

With the Coronavirus lockdown being the only pressing issue one can think of right now, one can have a constant fear of contracting the deadly virus and taking precautions to protect oneself from it. The pandemic can even takeover one’s thoughts to an extend that it feels that even asteroids are wearing face masks.

A 1.5 km wide asteroid, which is almost half the size of Mount Everest is set to fly by Earth next week, and its shape has already generated curiosity among netizens. The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico tweeted about the asteroid saying that it looks like it wearing a face mask. The observatory also shared a picture of the asteroid it snapped recently. The team researching about the asteroid in the observatory has been wearing the protective masks while at work as a precaution for the Coronavirus pandemic. They have likening the asteroid’s appearance to themselves in the hilarious tweet.

“#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!” read the tweet. The team also shared pictures of their members wear masks and posing against the picture of the asteroid.

In a statement to CNN, Anne Virkki, head of the planetary radar at the Observatory said that the small-scale topographic features of the asteroid such as the hills and ridges are 'fascinating scientifically'. "But since we are all thinking about Covid-19, these features make it look like 1998 OR2 remembered to wear a mask," she added.

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First Published: 25 April, 2020 11:07 IST

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