Biggest asteroid to pass Earth of 2021 this weekend | EarthSky.org

Simulated solar system orbits, showing the location of the Earth and the asteroid on January 6, 2021.

This can be a simulated view of asteroid 2001 FO32 on method to Earth’s neighborhood on January 6, 2021. The strains are orbits of planets in our photo voltaic system; see Earth’s orbit (third planet from the solar)? The asteroid continues to be far-off, but it surely’ll be closest on March 21, the day after the March equinox, sweeping inside about 5 lunar distances, shifting at about 21 miles (34.Four km) per second. See orbit simulation. Picture through SpaceReference.org.

The greatest identified asteroid to go in 2021 will sweep by on March 21. Asteroid 2001 FO32 is estimated to be about .6 miles (1 km) in diameter, not fairly so long as the Golden Gate Bridge, however comparable in size. Though there’s no danger of influence, the house rock is of curiosity additionally as a result of it’s one of many quickest house rocks identified to fly by Earth. It’s touring at about 76,980 miles per hour (123,887 km/h) or 21 miles (34.Four km) per second, relative to Earth. In distinction, Earth travels across the solar at about 18 miles (30 km) per second. Since 2001 FO32 is good-sized and sometimes passes close to Earth, it’s been categorized as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid. Its orbit is well-known, and it poses no danger of influence.

On March 21, 2021, FO32’s closest method to Earth will happen at 16:03 UTC; translate UTC to your time. At its closest, it’ll be about 5 lunar distances away, or about 1.Three million miles (2,016,351 km). SpaceReference.org reported:

Based mostly on its brightness and the best way it displays mild, 2001 FO32 might be between 0.767 to 1.714 kilometers (.5 miles to 1 mi) in diameter, making it bigger than ~97% of asteroids however small in comparison with massive asteroids.

An enchanting side of asteroids is that observers utilizing yard telescopes can them as apparently slow-moving “stars.” It sometimes takes at the least 5 to 10 minutes for yard customers to detect an area rock’s movement in entrance of its starfield. However asteroid 2001 FO32 might be sweeping previous Earth at such a quick tempo that, when it’s closest, observers utilizing 8″ or bigger telescopes may be capable to detect its movement – its drift in entrance of the celebs – in actual time.

We be aware that the house rock might be too faint to see wth the unaided eye. It’ll be seen to observers utilizing 8″ or bigger diameter telescopes. You could purpose your telescope on the right place within the , on the proper time. The charts on this submit present particulars. You may additionally examine Stellarium online or TheSkyLive for extra particulars on observing.

One caveat for northern observers. The asteroid is positioned comparatively low within the southern sky. As asteroid 2001 FO32 passes by Earth, observers utilizing telescopes may attempt to spot it because it glides by of the southern constellations of Scorpius and Sagittarius. For observers within the southern U.S., the asteroid might be low within the sky, above the southern horizon (about 20 levels or decrease), simply earlier than daybreak on March 21, 2021. Observers at decrease latitudes and within the southern hemisphere might be higher positioned to have a look by means of a telescope.

After it passes by Earth in March 2021, the following encounter of this asteroid with our planet happens in 31 years, on March 22, 2052. Nevertheless, the 2021 method might be its closest to Earth for the following 200 years for which its orbit has been calculated.

Asteroid 2001 FO32 was found on March 23, 2001, by the Lincoln Close to-Earth Asteroid Analysis (LINEAR), close to Socorro, New Mexico.

The house rock’s orbit carries it across the solar each 810 days (2.22 years). It comes as near the solar as 0.30 astronomical units (1 AU = 1 Earth-sun ). It travels as removed from the solar as 3.11 AU. Its orbit is very elliptical (versus being nearer to round).

Chart of southern sky with constellations and red tick marks showing location of asteroid.

Location of asteroid 2001 FO32 on March 20, 2021, at 3:45 am ET, as seen from southern U.S. The house rock might be too faint to see wth the unaided eye, however seen to observers utilizing 8″ or bigger diameter telescopes.  Illustration by Eddie Irizarry utilizing Stellarium.

Chart of sky with stars and tick marks around asteroid.

Location of asteroid 2001 FO32 on March 20, 2021, at 3:45 am ET. Observers utilizing a computerized or “Go To” telescope can level their instrument at one among these reference stars a couple of minutes earlier than, and await the asteroid, which can seem as a slowly shifting “star.” Illustration by Eddie Irizarry utilizing Stellarium.

Chart of sky with constellations and tick marks for location of asteroid.

Location of Asteroid 2001 FO32 on March 21, 2021, at 4:45 am ET, simply hours earlier than its closest method to Earth, so the asteroid’s movement might be best to detect in actual time by means of a telescope. Illustration – set for southern U.S. – by Eddie Irizarry utilizing Stellarium.

Chart of sky with stars, asteroid, and tick marks.

Location of the house rock on March 21, 2021n at 4:45 am ET, simply hours earlier than its closest method to Earth. Have a computerized or Go To telescope? Level your optics to one among these reference stars a couple of minutes forward, and await Asteroid 2001 FO32. This illustration exhibits the placement of the house rock on March 21, 2021 on 4:45 am ET, simply hours earlier than its closest method to Earth, so the asteroid’s movement might be very straightforward to detect in actual time by means of the telescope. Illustration by Eddie Irizarry utilizing Stellarium.

Inner planets nearly circular orbits diagram with elliptical asteroid orbit.

One other angle on the orbit of asteroid 2001 FO32. The house rock completes an orbit across the solar each 810 days (2.22 years). Picture through NASA/ JPL.

Backside line: Asteroid 2001 FO32 is the identified asteroid to brush previous Earth within the yr 2021. It would fly by at such a quick tempo that, when it’s closest, observers utilizing telescopes may be capable to detect its movement – its drift in entrance of the celebs – in actual time.

Eddie Irizarry

Source

Share

Recent Articles

Related Stories

Leave a Reply

Share