‘Potentially hazardous’ asteroid to fly by Earth on Mar 21

‘Potentially hazardous’ asteroid to fly by Earth on Mar 21
WASHINGTON, MAR 14 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 3/14/2021 1:32:04 PM IST

 An asteroid predicted to be the largest to sweep by Earth this year will make its closest approach to the planet on the first full day of spring, according to NASA. But not to worry, because there is “no threat” that it will crash into Earth, the space agency assures.

Dubbed 2001 FO32, the asteroid will come within 1.25 million miles of our planet on March 21, NASA said. While that’s approximately 5.25 times the distance between the Earth and the moon, it’s still considered close in astronomical terms. Because of that, NASA has designated it as a “potentially hazardous asteroid” .

It’s expected to be the largest asteroid to zoom by Earth in 2021, with a length comparable to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. Astronomers have been tracking 2001 FO32 since it was discovered 20 years ago, said Paul Chodas, director of the Center for Near Earth Object Studies, which is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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