Asteroid 2001 FO32, largest space rock to pass Earth in 2021, to zip by harmlessly today- Technology Information, Gadgetclock
Agence France-PresseMar 21, 2021 18:01:02 IST
Paris: The largest asteroid to pass by Earth this yr will swing closest on Sunday, giving astronomers a uncommon probability for a superb have a look at a space rock that shaped on the daybreak of our photo voltaic system.
Whereas in astronomical phrases this marks an in depth encounter with the asteroid, referred to as 2001 FO32, NASA says there is no such thing as a menace of a collision with our planet “now or for hundreds of years to come”.
The closest it’ll get shall be two million kilometres away, in accordance to the US space company.
That’s roughly 5.25 instances the space of the Earth from the Moon however nonetheless shut sufficient for 2001 FO32 to be labeled as a “probably hazardous asteroid.”
“We all know the orbital path of 2001 FO32 across the Solar very precisely,” stated Paul Chodas, director of the Heart for Close to Earth Object Research.
NASA says 2001 FO32 will pass by at about 124,000 kilometres per hour sooner than the velocity at which most asteroids encounter Earth.
The asteroid is estimated to be about 900 metres (3,000 toes) in diameter and was found 20 years in the past.
Astronomers are hoping to get a greater understanding of the asteroid’s dimension and a tough concept of its composition by learning gentle reflecting off its floor.
“When daylight hits an asteroid’s floor, minerals in the rock soak up some wavelengths whereas reflecting others,” NASA stated.
“By learning the spectrum of sunshine reflecting off the floor, astronomers can measure the chemical ‘fingerprints’ of the minerals on the floor of the asteroid.”
The asteroid shall be at its closest to Earth at round 1600 GMT on Sunday, in accordance to the Paris Observatory, France’s largest astronomy analysis centre.
Novice astronomers in some elements of the globe ought to have the option to conduct their very own observations.
The asteroid shall be brightest whereas it strikes by southern skies, Chodas stated.
“Novice astronomers in the southern hemisphere and at low northern latitudes ought to have the option to see this asteroid utilizing moderate-size telescopes with apertures of at the very least eight inches in the nights main up to closest strategy, however they are going to most likely want star charts to discover it,” he added.
NASA stated greater than 95 p.c of near-Earth asteroids the dimensions of 2001 FO32 or bigger have been catalogued and none of them has any probability of impacting our planet over the subsequent century.
NASA says the subsequent time 2001 FO32 shall be shut to Earth shall be 2052.
Sixty-six million years in the past an asteroid roughly twice the diameter as Paris crashed into Earth and worn out 75 p.c of life on the planet.
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