London, July 18 (IANS) Stargazers are in for a treat as a huge asteroid is set to pass by the Earth at 11 p.m (London time) on Sunday.
People in India can watch it live on the internet at 4 a.m. on Monday.
Asteroid UW-158, with a 90 million tonne core, is expected to contain $5 trillion worth of platinum. It will be 30 times closer than Earth’s nearest planet, The Mirror reported.
Slooh – a project which links telescopes to the internet – will broadcast images from an observatory in the Canary Islands, volcanic archipelago off the coast of northwestern Africa.
“It’s always fun when an asteroid whooshes past our world, so Slooh will be watching live when UW-158 passes 30 times closer to us than the nearest planet, on July 19,” Slooh Astronomer Bob Berman said.
“What makes this unusual is the large amount of platinum believed to be lurking in the body of this space visitor. Can it be mined someday, perhaps not too far in the future,” Berman asked.
Asteroid’s like UW-158 are defined as ‘X-type’ by Planetary Resources – an asteroid mining company.
The company has already catalogued dozens of similar asteroids across the solar system.