Large Asteroid to Closely Pass by Earth

Have you ever heard about an asteroid passing by earth? If yes, then it’s well in good but if no, then here’s news for you that an asteroid is closely passing by the earth in upcoming days.

Before going into details, let’s see what an asteroid is? I know many of you people will have no idea about it. So let me tell you first about it. Basically, asteroids are rocky relics that are part of the Solar System, to be more specific “Inner Solar System”. They are the minor planets of the inner solar system. Ceres was the first asteroid discovered in 1801. I think that’s enough information about an asteroid. Let’s come back to the main point.

On Thursday, 11 March 2021, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), US Space Agency, said that the fastest and the largest asteroid is going to closely pass Earth on Sunday, 21 March 2021. Many asteroids passed Earth before today but the asteroid which is going to pass earth on 21 March will be the fastest and biggest of all the asteroids. The name of the asteroid passing by the earth is “Asteroid 2001 FO32”. This Asteroid was discovered almost 20 years ago. It is not only the fastest but also a famous asteroid in the Solar System. The diameter of this Asteroid is 3000 feet.

NASA said that the width of 2001 F032 will be around 0.56 miles (0.9 Kilometers) which will closely pass Earth. The estimated speed per hour of the asteroid is 124,000 kilometers (77,000 miles) which is faster than all the asteroids which passed before. It will be difficult to observe this asteroid because of its fast speed. Its speed will be so fast that the astronomers will get a rare opportunity to observe and watch it even using a telescope. Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of NASA predicted that it will make its nearest approach at a distance of 1.25 million miles (almost 2 million kilometers) to Earth. This distance is 5 times greater than the distance of the Earth from the Moon. JPL predicted that it will safely pass by Earth without colliding or damaging our planets.

The director, Paul Chodas, of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at JPL, confirmed that the asteroid will not get closer to earth more than 1.25 million miles, which means that there is no chance of colliding it with the planet. The Principal Scientist at JPL, Lance Banner, said that

“Currently, little is known about this object, so the very close encounter provides an outstanding opportunity to learn a great deal about this asteroid.”

NASA said that after this encounter, there will be a gap of 31 years for the next encounter. They predicted that the next encounter will occur on 22 March 2052. It was also predicted and calculated that the encounter on 21 March 2021, will be the nearest approach of 2001 F032 to the Earth for the next 200 years.  JPL assured that if the distance is 2.8 kilometers then before 2052, there is no chance of that asteroid to come close to our planet, Earth.

Posted: 14 Mar 2021

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