NEW YORK / PARIS (dpa) – The most likely largest asteroid, which scientists believe will be approaching Earth this year, will fly over our planet on Sunday March 21.
The American space agency “NASA” announced that the celestial body “2001 FO32” with a diameter of several hundred meters would approach the Earth at about two million kilometers. It is more than five times the distance from Earth to the Moon.
According to NASA, there is no risk of collision – neither now nor in the future. “It is stable and is not on a risky path,” said Detlev Koschen, a European Space Agency (ESA) asteroid expert from German news agency DPA.
“We are very familiar with the ‘2001 FO32’ orbit around the sun,” said Paul Chodas of the Center for the Study of Near-Earth Objects in California. “We have been following it since its discovery 20 years ago.” “It is impossible for the asteroid to approach Earth more than two million kilometers away.”
With the right equipment, Koschen said, amateur astronomers can see the asteroid as well. Two million kilometers is nothing at the distance of the solar system.
According to reports, “2001 FO32”, which revolves around the sun once every 810 days, will fly through the Earth at a speed of around 124,000 kilometers per hour – only to come close until 2052. Scientists from NASA want to take the opportunity during the flight to take a closer look at the asteroid. “We don’t know much about him,” Koschin said.
Esa has her own software for looking at the things that are important to Earth. “2001 FO32” – if he wasn’t flying a harmless distance – his size would be a perfect candidate to try to distract him from his career in order to avoid a potential collision with the ground. Koschin said an asteroid of this size could destroy an entire country. In comparison, the explosion of a 20-meter plot in 2013 caused significant damage in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk. About 1,500 people were injured in the shock wave.
Last year, Esa started an asteroid defense project named after the Greek goddess Hera. Its purpose is to study how the NASA probe affects an asteroid.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210319-99-887947 / 2