A ‘potentially hazardous asteroid’ is all set to zoom past Earth on March 21, 2021. Unlike many other celestial objects which sweep past our planet, this one is potentially hazardous as it’s the largest and the fastest asteroid which will pass by Earth in 2021. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the asteroid named ‘2001 FO32’ would move an incredibly high speed and would not be visible by the naked eye.
As reported by earthsky, the asteroid which will be moving at a speed of 21 miles (34.4 km) per second will pass by the earth at 9:33 pm EST. Even at its closest distance, the almost one-kilometre long asteroid would be about 1.3 million miles (2,016,351 km) or 5 lunar distances away. NASA has termed the event as safe nixing any possible chance of collision.
The asteroid would only be visible to observers using 8" or larger diameter telescope. Experts have warned that enthusiasts expecting to see the asteroid should be able to point their equipment at the correct position at the right time. According to earthsky, observers using telescopes might try to spot it as it glides through the southern constellations of Scorpius and Sagittarius. The asteroid is too faint to spot by the naked eye, however people with backyard telescope would also be able to spot it as apparently slow-moving "stars". The asteroid 2001 FO32 was discovered on March 23, 2001, and has an absolute magnitude of 17.7. The asteroid is classified under the Apollo asteroid group by NASA.
In a similar occurrence, a huge asteroid, which is bigger than the size of Eiffel Tower passed earth on February 1, as stated by NASA's Asteroid Watch called Central for Near-Earth Object Studies. Termed as 2016 CL136 measures 2016 CL136, as per the report. Also, experts say that the asteroid is expected to come 3.3 million miles from the Earth.