The largest asteroid to cross Earth this year will be closest to Sunday.
The asteroid 2001 FO32, 900 meters in diameter, was discovered 20 years ago. It is overtaking us at a speed of 124,000 kilometers per hour, which is faster than any other asteroid passing through Earth.
At its closest, it is about two million kilometers away. It’s five times the distance between the Earth and the Moon, but it’s still close enough to be classified as a “dangerous asteroid”.
The asteroid will be as close as possible to 5 pm on Sunday, and those in the southern hemisphere will have the greatest chance of seeing it.
The next time 2001 FO32 approaches Earth will be 2052.
About 66 million years ago, an asteroid twice the size of Paris crashed into Earth, destroying 75 percent of life.
The U.S. space agency, NASA, says more than 95 percent of Earth’s asteroids have been mapped by FO32 2001 or larger and are unlikely to collide with our planet in the next century.
Corrected: In the previous version, the indication of the distance between the Earth and the Moon was omitted.
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