The absolute best asteroid to zoom past Earth this year will enact so on March 21, NASA says.
Astronomers will win a precious replacement to scrutinize a dwelling rock up end as asteroid 2001 FO32 swoops past our dwelling planet on March 21, however the rock will no longer plot closer than 1.25 million miles (2 million kilometers), NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced right this moment time (March 11) in an announcement.
“There is now not such a thing as a threat of a collision with our planet now or for hundreds of years to plot,” the assertion be taught.
“All of us know the orbital route of 2001 FO32 spherical the sun very accurately, since it changed into stumbled on 20 years ago and has been tracked ever since,” Paul Chodas, director of the Heart for Terminate to Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), which is managed by JPL, acknowledged within the same assertion. “There is now not such a thing as a chance the asteroid will win any closer to Earth than 1.25 million miles.”
The asteroid, which is estimated to be 1,300 feet to 2,230 feet (440 to 680 meters) wide, will zoom past us at a whopping 77,000 mph (124,00 kph), which is sooner than most asteroids poke plot Earth. Its queer wander is because of the of its elongated and extremely inclined orbit spherical the sun, based fully mostly on JPL. Because the rock nears the interior solar system, it picks up wander sooner than whipping abet spherical toward deep dwelling sooner than turning abet towards the sun, orbiting once every 810 days.
The rock is deemed a “potentially unsafe asteroid,” or PHA, by the CNEOS. The CNEOS monitors PHAs esteem 2001 FO32 the use of ground-based fully mostly radar and telescopes, tracking their saunter in case they win end ample to Earth to pose an affect risk.
Whereas the asteroid orbits the sun once about every 2.25 years, 2001 FO32 will no longer plot this end to our planet all yet again till 2052, when this would possibly maybe wander by at 1.75 million miles (2.8 million km), based fully mostly on JPL.
Though the upcoming “end” wander doesn’t pose a risk for those of us residing on planet Earth, the flyby does provide a possibility for astronomers to win a apt gape at 2001 FO32.
The proximity will enable astronomers to greater scrutinize the asteroid’s size and brightness and give them an even bigger idea of its composition, if truth be told doing “geology with a telescope,” Vishnu Reddy, an associate professor at the College of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in Tucson, acknowledged within the same JPL assertion.
Now, while loyal astronomers are planning their observations for the flyby with telescopes esteem NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) in Hawaii, “novice astronomers within the Southern Hemisphere and at low northern latitudes ought with the plan to gape this asteroid the use of practical-size telescopes with apertures of at the very least 8 inches within the nights leading up to closest manner, but they’ll potentially need celebrity charts to search out it,” Chodas acknowledged.
E-mail Chelsea Gohd at [email protected] or phrase her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd. Practice us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Fb.
Join our Set aside Boards to shield talking dwelling on basically the most contemporary missions, evening sky and more! And when that that it is probably going you’ll well even win a news tip, correction or comment, enable us to know at: [email protected]