DrThe largest asteroid, which scientists estimate will approach Earth this year, will likely have flown over our planet on Sunday. The US space agency “NASA” announced last week that the celestial body named “2001 FO32” with a diameter of several hundred meters, should approach the Earth within a range of about two million kilometers. This is just over five times the distance from Earth to the Moon.
And NASA said there is no risk of a collision – neither now nor in the future. “It is stable, it is not in a risky path,” Detlev Koschin, an asteroid expert from the European Space Agency (ESA), told Deutsche Presse-Agentur before the event.
“We know the 2001 FO32 orbit around the sun very well,” said Paul Chodas of the Center for the Study of Near-Earth Objects in California. “We have followed it since it was discovered 20 years ago.” “It is impossible for the asteroid to approach Earth more than two million kilometers.”
Koschin announced that even amateur astronomers can see the asteroid with the right equipment. Two million kilometers is nothing in the distance of the solar system.
The Hera defense system was created in 2020
2001 FO32, which orbits the sun once every 810 days, is said to have flown across Earth at about 124,000 kilometers per hour – and it won’t approach it again until 2052 after that. NASA scientists wanted to take the opportunity during the flight to closely examine the asteroid.
Esa has its own software for looking at things that are important to Earth. “2001 FO32” would be an ideal candidate for trying to distract him from his career in order to avoid a potential collision with the ground – if he doesn’t fly a harmless distance. Koschin said that an asteroid of this size could destroy an entire country. For comparison: the explosion of a 20-meter plot of land in 2013 wreaked havoc in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk. The shock wave injured about 1,500 people.
Just last year, ESA began a project to defend an asteroid named after the Greek goddess Hera. The goal is to study how NASA’s probe affects an asteroid.