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 spot them as apparently slow-moving “stars.” It sometimes takes at the least 5 to 10 minutes for yard telescope 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 sky, 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 means 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 distance). It travels as removed from the solar as 3.11 AU. Its orbit is very elliptical (versus being nearer to round).
Backside line: Asteroid 2001 FO32 is the largest 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.