The Largest Asteroid to Pass Earth This Year Is Rapidly Approaching

The largest asteroid to move by Earth this 12 months will tactic inside some 1.25 million miles (two million kilometers) of our planet on March 21, NASA reported Thursday.

The US room company stated it will allow astronomers to get a unusual close look at an asteroid.


The asteroid, 2001 FO32, is approximated to be about 3,000 ft (900 meters) in diameter and was identified 20 a long time ago, NASA claimed.

“We know the orbital path of 2001 FO32 all-around the Sunlight pretty precisely,” stated Paul Chodas, director of the Center for Close to Earth Item Experiments. “There is no possibility the asteroid will get any nearer to Earth than 1.25 million miles.”

 2001 FO32 orbit. (NASA/JPL) 2001 FO32 orbit. (NASA/JPL)

That is about 5.25 situations the length of the Earth from the Moon but continue to shut plenty of for 2001 FO32 to be classified as a “likely hazardous asteroid”.

NASA explained 2001 FO32 will pass by at about 77,000 miles (124,000 km) for each hour faster than the speed at which most asteroids encounter Earth.

“Presently, very little is recognised about this item, so the incredibly close face presents an excellent prospect to study a wonderful deal about this asteroid,” mentioned Lance Benner, principal scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

NASA claimed astronomers hope to get a better understanding of the asteroid’s sizing and a tough idea of its composition by researching light reflecting off its floor.

“When daylight hits an asteroid’s surface area, minerals in the rock take in some wavelengths although reflecting other folks,” NASA stated.

“By finding out the spectrum of light-weight reflecting off the floor, astronomers can measure the chemical ‘fingerprints’ of the minerals on the floor of the asteroid.”

Novice astronomers in some elements of the globe must be able to perform their have observations.

“The asteroid will be brightest when it moves via southern skies,” Chodas said.


“Beginner astronomers in the Southern Hemisphere and at minimal northern latitudes should be equipped to see this asteroid using moderate dimensions telescopes with apertures of at the very least eight inches in the evenings main up to closest approach, but they will probably need to have star charts to locate it.”

NASA mentioned much more than 95 percent of in the vicinity of-Earth asteroids the measurement of 2001 FO32 or much larger have been cataloged and none of them has any probability of impacting our earth about the future century.

© Agence France-Presse