The largest asteroid to graze the Earth will pass in 2021 … Sunday, March 21 at a distance of two million kilometers from us – without the risk of an ision collision, but astronomers will be allowed to study this celestial body more closely.
According to NASA, 2001 is called FO32 and with a diameter of less than a kilometer it orbits at a speed of 124,000 km per hour, which is “faster than most asteroids” close to Earth.
“There is no danger of ision colliding with our planet,” the U.S. space agency said. At its closest, the asteroid is still five times the distance between Earth and the Moon.
According to official sources it is close to being classified as “dangerous”.
The asteroid was discovered in March 2001 and has followed its path ever since.
“Right now, very little is known about this object, so this close approach gives us an amazing opportunity to learn a lot about it,” said Lance Benner, a scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Object study Earth (CNEOS).
By studying the light reflected from its surface, researchers, for example, have a better idea of its composition.
“Amateur astronomers in the southern hemisphere and lower northern latitudes will be able to see the meteorite using medium-sized telescopes,” CNEOS director Paul Chodas said in a statement.
None of the large asteroids listed are likely to collapse on Earth in the next century, and the finds are unlikely to do so, NASA assures.
However, she adds, “When we are able to gather more information about these objects, good mission designers can be prepared to redirect them if one of them ever threatens the earth.”