The house rock, formally referred to as 231937 (2001 FO32), is about 0.5 to 1 mile (0.eight to 1.7 kilometers) in diameter and can come inside 1.25 million miles (2 million kilometers) of Earth at 11:03 a.m. EST (1603 GMT) on March 21 — shut sufficient and enormous sufficient to be labeled as “doubtlessly hazardous,” in response to a database printed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
An asteroid is designated as “doubtlessly hazardous” when its orbit intersects with Earth’s at a distance of not more than about 4.65 million miles (7.5 million km) and it’s greater than about 500 toes (140 meters) in diameter, in response to NASA’s Heart for Close to-Earth Object Research (CNEOS).
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Small asteroids cross between Earth and the moon a number of occasions a month, and their fragments enter and break up in Earth’s ambiance virtually every day, in response to NASA’s Planetary Protection Coordination Workplace (PDCO).
Telescopes in New Mexico which might be a part of the Lincoln Close to-Earth Asteroid Analysis (LINEAR) program — an MIT Lincoln Laboratory program funded by the U.S. Air Power and NASA — detected the asteroid on March 23, 2001, in response to EarthSky. Observatories have monitored it ever since. Scientists used these observations to calculate the asteroid’s orbit and decide how shut the house rock will come to Earth when it whizzes by at virtually 77,000 mph (124,000 km/h).
No recognized asteroid poses a big danger to Earth for the subsequent 100 years. The present greatest recognized risk is an asteroid referred to as (410777) 2009 FD, which has a 1 in 714 (lower than 0.2%) likelihood of hitting Earth in 2185, in response to NASA’s PDCO.
NASA is finding out strategies of deflecting asteroids that do find yourself on a collision course with Earth, equivalent to by utilizing the gravity of a flying spacecraft to slowly pull asteroids off their trajectory to a protected distance, in response to NASA’s PDCO.
When you’ve got a telescope with an aperture of a minimum of eight inches (20 centimeters), you would possibly be capable to spot the fast-moving house rock, in response to EarthSky. To catch a glimpse within the southern U.S., level your telescope south-southeast between the constellations of Sagittarius and Corona Australis at 4:45 a.m. EST on March 20.
Initially printed on Dwell Science.