Washington: The largest asteroid to go to Earth in 2021 is passing by our planet on Sunday (March 21) at a pace of about 124,000 kmph.
Although this pace is quicker than the pace at which most asteroids encounter Earth, there is no such thing as a risk of a collision with our planet, NASA stated earlier this month.
Called 2001 FO32, the near-Earth asteroid will make its closest method at a distance of about two million kilometres.
“The motive for the asteroid’s unusually speedy shut method is its extremely inclined and elongated (or eccentric) orbit across the Sun, an orbit that’s tilted 39 levels to Earth’s orbital airplane,” NASA stated.
“This orbit takes the asteroid nearer to the Sun than Mercury and twice as removed from the Sun as Mars.”
The asteroid is about 0.8 to 1.7 kilometres in diameter, in accordance to a report in Live Science.
“We know the orbital path of 2001 FO32 across the Sun very precisely because it was found 20 years in the past and has been tracked ever since,” stated Paul Chodas, Director of the Centre for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), which is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, stated in a press release.
“There isn’t any likelihood the asteroid will get any nearer to Earth than 1.25 million miles.”
Still, that distance is shut in astronomical phrases, which is why 2001 FO32 has been designated a “doubtlessly hazardous asteroid.”