You might want to mark your calender on March 21, 2021 because at around 11:03 a.m. ET a gigantic asteroid, 231937 (2001 FO32), is going to go skimming by Earth at a speed of about 21 miles per second.
Why, yes, that is very fast.
In fact, not only is Asteroid 2001 FO32 the largest space rock we anticipate seeing up close in 2021, it’s also one of the fastest. BONUS!
The “potentially hazardous” (according to NASA) Apollo class asteroid is somewhere between 0.47 of a mile across to 1.07 miles across in diameter and will be cruising by at a whopping 76,980 miles per hour at just 5.3 lunar distances away from our planet. One lunar distance is about 238,900 miles, or the distance between Earth and the moon.
If it were to somehow hit Earth that would be all she wrote for a good portion of the human race.
Asteroid 2001 FO32 is larger than 97% of recorded asteroids, and by comparison, Earth travels around the sun at about 18 miles per second, so 2001 FO32 is going to be movin’.
Check out the giant space rock’s orbit vs. Earth’s, culminating on March 21, 2021.
That… is very close – in space terms.
According to EarthSky.org…
A fascinating aspect of asteroids is that observers using backyard telescopes can spot them as apparently slow-moving “stars.” It typically takes at least 5 to 10 minutes for backyard telescope users to detect a space rock’s motion in front of its starfield. But asteroid 2001 FO32 will be sweeping past Earth at such a fast pace that, when it’s closest, observers using 8″ or larger telescopes might be able to detect its motion – its drift in front of the stars – in real time.
They also recommend viewing Stellarium or TheSkyLive for more details on how to observe Asteroid 2001 FO32.
Oh, by the way, NASA says Asteroid 2001 FO32 poses no risk of impact. But, really, what else would they say?
Eh, I’m sure everything will be fine.
Previously in asteroid news…
• NASA is tracking an object flying towards Earth and they are not 100% sure what it is
• ‘Colossal God of Chaos’ asteroid may smash into Earth in 2068, new measurements reveal
• NASA tracking not one or two, but seven asteroids that will be flying past Earth this week
• NASA tracking 17,000 mph asteroid that will have an ‘extremely close’ encounter with Earth this week
• Another asteroid set to blast by Earth closer than the moon at 38,000 mph this week
• A giant asteroid is getting ready to skim by Earth closer than the moon at 18,000 mph
• Three major asteroids deemed ‘near Earth objects’ will be zooming by Earth over the next few days
• NASA is tracking a ‘potentially hazardous asteroid’ as big as a skyscraper flying by Earth
• PSA: A ‘potentially dangerous’ asteroid almost a mile wide is on ‘close approach’ with Earth
• Heads up, there is an 1,100 foot wide asteroid heading our way and it’s going to get very, very close
• Did you feel that? 4 asteroids just buzzed Earth, one only a third of the distance from here to the moon
• Researchers now believe massive interstellar object discovered in 2017 was ‘ripped’ from an alien planet
• Alien expert believes he’s uncovered a extraterrestrial base on an asteroid in NASA image
• NASA is tracking a monstrous asteroid on Earth approach with the potential to wipe us all out
• Head for the bunker, NASA is tracking a giant asteroid on earth ‘approach’
• Heads up, a pack of asteroids is hurtling towards Earth at speeds of up to 27,500 MPH this weekend
• Russia plans to build a base on the moon to track asteroids on a collision course with the Earth