Asteroid to Pass Close to Earth
A big – very big – asteroid will pass relatively close to Earth on April 29, 2020. Asteroid (52768) 1998 OR2 will pass at a safe distance, at some 4 million miles (6 million km), or about 16 times the Earth-moon distance. It’ll be the biggest asteroid to fly by Earth this year (that we know about so far); according to current estimates, it’s probably a bit over a mile wide (2 km) and maybe twice that long. Closest approach will be April 29 around 5:56 a.m.
No access to a telescope? No problem. The Virtual Telescope Project in Rome will host a free, online public viewing of the asteroid on April 28, 2020.
Look Out for Venus
Late April offers the planet Venus at its brightest in the evening sky for all of 2020, a glorious evening “star.” No matter where you live, look west after sunset for this bright planet. Venus is now nearly 3 times brighter than it was at its faintest some months ago. And that’s saying something, because Venus always ranks as the second-brightest heavenly body in the night sky (after the moon). It easily outshines all other planets and stars.
There are lots of fun science facts and activities to check out on the home-learning pages of Bitesize. Stay inquisitive.