Livestream Shows ‘Potentially Hazardous’ Asteroid’s Approach

by Courtney Blackann
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Ariana Grande doesn’t have to start singing about the end of the world just yet. The massive asteroid that’s coming near Earth will luckily pass us by – but those at home can safely watch from their couches. With a super cool live stream, we’ll be able to watch the asteroid in real time. And if that’s not the coolest thing ever, I don’t know what it.

According to Newsweek, the massive rock, called asteroid (138971) 2001 CB21 will come by on March 4. And at 10 p.m. ET, you can catch a glimpse of the asteroid. Though it will still be 3 million miles away, the distance puts the asteroid into a category of “Near-Earth,” according to NASA.

Through the The Virtual Telescope Project 2.0, viewers will be able to witness the rare event. That means space enthusiasts everywhere are going to be glued to their screens come March 4 when the live feed begins.

The large rock is a big one at somewhere between 1837 and 4265 feet in diameter. Using Virtual Telescope’s WEBTV channel, streamers everywhere can watch as it approaches. It’ll also be traveling somewhere around 7.5 miles per second. To put that in perspective, that’s 13 times faster than an M-16 bullet and 18 times faster than an F-16 military jet going max speed.

Scientists don’t believe that the large asteroid will come into contact with Earth in the next century, but they’re keeping a careful watch on it.

Further, the next time that (138971) 2001 CB21 will come around is in 21 years. Which means you can watch it again on March 6, 2043.

Asteroid Size Determination

The discrepancy in size of the asteroid is due to the way that it’s measured. There’s a lot that goes into it, so scientists can only make educated guesses about it’s actual size. These factors include how much heat the asteroid is producing, the light it reflects and the color of the asteroid.

All these things help determine how large or small an object from such a distance really is. So the range in diameter is based on scientists calculating these factors.

Despite this, viewing the asteroid as it approaches Earth will certainly be educational and fun for all. Interestingly, if you were wondering what would happen if the asteroid was on a collision course for Earth, a research team at U.C. Santa Barbara took on just that question.

In their study, they found that we would likely be able to survive if we used our nuclear weapons to destroy a rock of that size.

“It’s a serious attempt to look at whether humanity has reached a point where we could prevent what happened to the dinosaurs 65million years ago.”

And with the help nuclear weapons, scientists believe it’s possible.

“What we point out is that we easily possess enough nuclear devices to take apart a large object like the one in ‘Don’t Look Up’,”  Philip Lubin, a professor of physics, told The Sun.

Outsider.com