Asteroid 5 Times Longer Than Perrine Bridge Passes Earth In March
Scientists who study the cosmos have released information about what is expected to be the largest asteroid to pass by Earth in 2021. It's big and fast, and currently poses no impact threat.
The words "Potentially Hazardous Asteroid" jump off the pages of scientific journals and websites devoted to outer space. This is the classification that has been given to an enormous space rock that is over 8,000 feet in length, and traveling at 21 miles per second through the solar system.
Asteroid 2001 FO32 is so far the largest that astronomers are predicting will pass our planet this year, according to data shared by earthsky.org. With a length of more than 8,000 feet, you could almost fit the Perrine Bridge on the giant rock six times over. It's also moving very quickly, at an estimated 76,000 miles per hour.
A January 12, 2021 upload to YouTube by the channel Physics Science Astronomy does a good job of explaining in detail the trajectory and history of this 0.6 mile long asteroid. March 21, 2021, is the day the rock is expected to zip past the Earth, at a distance of approximately 1.3 million miles.
The asteroid is traveling at such a high rate of speed that your average everyday telescope won't be able to pick it up, according to earthsky.org. One would need to have handy a telescope that exceeds eight inches in diameter to even have a chance to catch a glimpse. Asteroid 2001 FO32, which was first discovered in late-March of the year 2001, isn't expected to pass this close to our planet again for nearly 200 years.