Asteroid 2001 FO32, largest area rock to cross Earth in 2021, to zip by harmlessly today- Know-how Information, Alenz
Agence France-PresseMar 21, 2021 18:01:02 IST
Paris: The biggest asteroid to cross by Earth this yr will swing closest on Sunday, giving astronomers a uncommon likelihood for an excellent take a look at an area rock that fashioned on the daybreak of our photo voltaic system.
Whereas in astronomical phrases this marks an in depth encounter with the asteroid, known as 2001 FO32, NASA says there isn’t any risk of a collision with our planet “now or for hundreds of years to come back”.
The closest it is going to get can be two million kilometres away, in accordance with the US area company.
That’s roughly 5.25 occasions the space of the Earth from the Moon however nonetheless shut sufficient for 2001 FO32 to be labeled as a “doubtlessly hazardous asteroid.”
“We all know the orbital path of 2001 FO32 across the Solar very precisely,” mentioned Paul Chodas, director of the Heart for Close to Earth Object Research.
NASA says 2001 FO32 will cross 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 mild reflecting off its floor.
“When daylight hits an asteroid’s floor, minerals within the rock take in some wavelengths whereas reflecting others,” NASA mentioned.
“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 can be at its closest to Earth at round 1600 GMT on Sunday, in accordance with the Paris Observatory, France’s largest astronomy analysis centre.
Novice astronomers in some components of the globe ought to have the ability to conduct their very own observations.
The asteroid can be brightest whereas it strikes by means of southern skies, Chodas mentioned.
“Novice astronomers within the southern hemisphere and at low northern latitudes ought to have the ability to see this asteroid utilizing moderate-size telescopes with apertures of no less than eight inches within the nights main as much as closest method, however they may in all probability want star charts to seek out it,” he added.
NASA mentioned greater than 95 p.c of near-Earth asteroids the scale of 2001 FO32 or bigger have been catalogued and none of them has any likelihood of impacting our planet over the subsequent century.
NASA says the subsequent time 2001 FO32 can be near Earth can 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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