An astronomer has captured an image showing one of the largest asteroids approaching Earth this year.
Space Rock, “(231937) 2001 FO32” will fly close to Earth at 11:03 a.m. on March 21, according to NASA’s Center for the Study of Near-Earth Objects.
Recent observations by NASA show that the asteroid measures between 1300 and 2230 meters.
In other words, the diameter of the rock would be equivalent to the size of football fields.
Thus “2001 FO32” will be the largest asteroid that has passed close to planet Earth in 2021.
It is traveling at a dizzying speed of about 77,000 miles per hour, which also makes it the fastest asteroid to have flown close to our planet.
Astronomer Gianluca Masi of the Virtual Telescope Project captured an image of “2001 FO32” on Thursday when the rock was about 20 million miles from Earth.
The image comes from a single 180-second exposure, taken remotely using the 17-inch Elena robotic telescope in Ceccano, Italy – about 60 miles south of Rome.
“2001 FO32” has also been identified as “potentially dangerous.”
Despite the label, astronomers know the orbit of this asteroid well and there is no chance that it will hit our planet in the foreseeable future.