We all have to be well-aware of the fact that the Universe is not always a friendly place, even though the Earth has some strong allies. 2021 announces to be pretty active when it comes to large space rocks that get close to us, and another one that lands on the list is the 231937 (2001 FO32) asteroid.
Thankfully, the asteroid will land only on the afore-mentioned list and not also on Earth. Live Science writes about the 2001 FO32 space rock that’s about the size of the Golden Gate Bridge, and it will be one of the most imposing asteroids that will come near our planet in 2021.
2001 FO32 will successfully miss us in March
The 2001 FO32 asteroid measures from 0.5 to 1 mile in diameter, and it will miss us by about 1.25 million miles on March 21 at 11:03 a.m. EST (1603 GMT). The asteroid was discovered in 2001 on March 23 by an MIT Lincoln Laboratory program that was funded by NASA and the US Air Force.
2001 FO32 was found to be hurtling through space at the staggering speed of 77,000 mph, meaning that you certainly wouldn’t want it landing in your backyard or even town. The space rock is also classified as a NEO (Near-Earth Object), and NASA explained on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) website:
NEOs are comets and asteroids that have been nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to enter the Earth’s neighbourhood,
The scientific interest in comets and asteroids is due largely to their status as the relatively unchanged remnant debris from the solar system formation process some 4.6 billion years ago.
Although 2001 FO32 will successfully miss us, there will surely be many other dangerous space rocks that will approach us in the next years. Space agencies sure need to figure out ways of dealing with such threats, and we can realistically hope for a beneficial outcome considering the unabated development of technology.