By Sarah Keane • 13 March 2021 • 12:41
LARGEST asteroid of 2021 which is twice the size of the Eiffel Tower will pass by Earth this month
The largest asteroid of the year so far, named 2001 FO32 and measuring 2,230ft in diameter will pass within 1.25 million miles of the Earth on March 21 before being hurtled back into outer space, according to NASA. Experts say that even though the space rock will be more than a million miles away, budding astronomers in the northern and southern hemispheres will get a ‘rare close look’ at the surface of the asteroid.
As the asteroid travels through the skies, it ‘picks up speed like a skateboarder rolling down a halfpipe, and then slows after being flung back out into deep space and swinging back toward the sun,’ NASA explained.
2001 F032 was first discovered 20 years ago, and although scientists say it poses no risk to the Earth whatsoever, it is still technically classed as a ‘potentially hazardous asteroid’, according to the NASA ‘Near Earth Object’ guidelines. However, the experts reassure that ‘there is no threat of a collision with our planet now or for centuries to come.’
Travelling at around 77,000 miles per hour faster than most asteroids that pass by Earth and roughly twice the size of the Eiffel Tower, the rock orbits the sun once every 810 days.
‘Currently, little is known about this object, so the very close encounter provides an outstanding opportunity to learn a great deal about this asteroid,’ said Lance Benner, principal scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
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Former teacher and health services manager with a Degree in English, Sarah moved to Spain from Southern Ireland with her husband, who runs his own car rental business, in 2019. She is now enjoying a completely different pace and quality of life on the Costa Blanca South, with wonderful Spanish and expat friends in Cabo Roig. Sarah began working with Euro Weekly News in 2020 and loves nothing more than bringing all the latest national and international news to her local community.
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