NASA warning: Huge 'potentially hazardous' asteroid will hurtle past Earth next month
A mile-wide asteroid twice the size of the world's tallest building will pass Earth in March and has been dubbed 'potentially hazardous' by NASA, SİA informs, citing Daily Mail.
The asteroid, named 231937 (2001 FO32), is unlikely to hit the Earth as it will be 1.2 million miles from the planet - five times further away than the Moon.
However, NASA dubs any space rock that comes within 93 million miles of us a 'Near-Earth Object,' three-quarters of the 120 million-mile distance to Mars.
The mile-wide by half a mile-long space rock will make its closest approach to our planet at about 16:03 GMT on March 21. It has been branded 'potentially hazardous' as it 'might' hit the Earth at some point in the future solar system.
Asteroid 231937 is the enormous space rock to 'come close' to the Earth this year and, at 1.7km, is more than twice the size of the tallest building on Earth - the Burj Khalifa.
It should be possible to see the asteroid through an eight-inch aperture telescope just after sunset on March 21 by looking slightly above the southern horizon.
The asteroid was first detected in 2001 by an array of telescopes in New Mexico that are part of the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) program.
The US Air Force and NASA fund the MIT project, and it detected the space rock on March 23, 2001, and has been under observation ever since.
Using those observations, astronomers calculated its orbit, found how close it would get to Earth, and determined it would be going at 77,000mph.
SpaceReference.org wrote of the asteroid: 'Based on its brightness and how it reflects light, 2001 FO32 is probably between 0.767 to 1.714 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than ~97% of asteroids but small compared to large asteroids.'
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