It’s undeniable: 2020 was a pretty rocky year and, despite some hopes, 2021 hasn’t gotten off to a better start. We are still stuck in the midst of a global epidemic, the government is focusing more on cracking down on activists rather than tackling the crisis of an aggressive environment, and – according to NASA – potentially dangerous asteroids are preparing to pass uncomfortably close. On earth.
In particular, the asteroid 2001 FO32A will float over the planet on March 21. At just under 1,000,000 miles per hour, and measuring one kilometer in diameter, it will be the largest and fastest known asteroid to pass through in 2021.
So, does digging an underground bunker, or abandoning it altogether and taking care of the covid in different parts of the world in a different, different, different, different, different, different, different, different, different, different, different, different, different way Not exactly, explains Queen Lawn Fitzsimons, an astronomer and professor of astrophysics at Klein University Belfast.
“Says the impact of small asteroids, around 200 to 300 meters, could ruin a state or a small country.” “Asteroids of one kilometer or more can produce climatic effects around the world, resulting in severe food shortages, and destruction in the immediate vicinity of the site of impact.”
This is not exactly reassuring, but it adds that there is no need to worry about the asteroid 2001 FO32: “The good news is that due to the observations of many astronomers, we know that it will not affect us for at least the next 200 years.” While it will have close approaches at that time – as of March 22, 2052 – this offers useful opportunities to study and learn more about really large, near-Earth asteroids, “and we can do without worry.”
In fact, it seems we are relatively safe from the dangers of the planet for a while. According to Fitzismans: “NASA-funded research has now discovered most of the larger asteroids and they determine that they are not a threat in the next couple of centuries.” Now, he adds, it’s important to focus on the smaller asteroids: “to find them and find out where they’re going.” Asteroids that have a chance to pass through the atmosphere and hit the ground get us closer to the moon about every five to 10 years.
We may consider ourselves lucky that the asteroid 2001 FO32 will leave us unscathed on March 21, but what if you want to see it fly in the night sky? Unfortunately – “or luckily!” Fitzgerald Note – You won’t see much unless you have access to the right telescope. “In the near future it will still be two million kilometers away from us and it will be 100,000 times more obscure than the stars you can see with your eyes.”
Because asteroids are moving so fast, observers who have telescopes may have the opportunity to find their motion in real time – mapped against distant stars.