- March 13, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Subject : Science & tech
Context : On March 21, the largest asteroid predicted to pass by Earth in 2021 will be at its closest. It is called 2001 FO32.
- It is a near-Earth asteroid classified as a potentially hazardous asteroid of the Apollo group.
- With an estimated diameter of 440–680 m (1,400–2,200 ft), it was discovered by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research at Socorro, New Mexico on 23 March 2001.
- The asteroid will safely pass by Earth on 21 March 2021.
- It won’t come closer than 2 million km to Earth, but still, that distance is close in astronomical terms, which is why 2001 FO32 has been designated a “potentially hazardous asteroid”.
- During this approach, 2001 FO32 will pass by at about 124,000 kph – faster than the speed at which most asteroids encounter Earth.
- The reason for the asteroid’s unusually speedy close approach is its highly eccentric orbit around the Sun, an orbit that is tilted 39° to Earth’s orbital plane. This orbit takes the asteroid closer to the Sun than Mercury, and twice as far from the Sun as Mars.