One of the largest known asteroids is expected to fly past Earth next month, reaching speeds of up to 76,980 miles per hour.
Asteroid 2001 FO32
NASA has described Asteroid 2001 FO32 as being “potentially hazardous” but scientists say it won’t collide with Earth this time around (or during its next five passes which is expected to happen every three to five decades).
It’s expected to zoom by our planet on March 21st. And you might even be able to catch a quick glimpse of it if you’re looking through a telescope.
EarthSky states: “It’ll be moving at such a fast pace that observers using telescopes might be able to detect its motion – its drift in front of the stars – in real time.
And according to Travel & Leisure: “Scientists estimate that it’s between about half a mile and one mile in diameter, making it larger than approximately 97 per cent of other known asteroids.”
When the asteroid does travel past Earth it will be doing so at approximately 1.3 million miles away, which is about five times as far as the moon.
After the March event this particular asteroid won’t encounter Earth for another 31 years, on March 22nd, 2052.
But the 2021 encounter will be the closest it gets to Earth for the next two centuries.
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