1.2km Asteroid Set to Pass ‘Hazardously’ Close to Earth
“Due to its proximity to Earth, which is less than 7.5 million km, NASA have declared the asteroid as a potential hazard, but are urging the public not to panic, as they believe there’s no immediate threat to our planet.”
By Rebecca Fisher
An asteroid measuring at a whopping 1.2km is currently hurtling towards earth, with experts expecting it to pass close to our planet in the coming week.
According to specialists at Nasa’s Centre for Near-Earth Object Studies, the asteroid, formally known as 2001 CB21, will slowly approach Earth on March 4 at approximately 8am.
The object, which is being classed as ‘potentially hazardous’ by astronomers, is travelling at about 36,800 miles per hour as it nears Earth.
As a point of reference to the true scale of this impending asteroid, experts are claiming the object is four times the size of The Shard in London, which stands at 310 meters high, being the tallest building in Western Europe.
Due to its proximity to Earth, which is less than 7.5 million km, NASA have declared the asteroid as a potential hazard, but are urging the public not to panic, as they believe there’s no immediate threat to our planet.
While the asteroid is expected to come as close as three million miles to Earth, that distance is approximately 12 times the distance between the Moon and the Earth, leaving astronomers assured there’s nothing to worry about.
While the asteroid won’t directly impact earth, aspiring sky-watchers and amateur astronomers will be able to see the objects approach online or through a small telescope.
The rare event will be livestreamed online by astrophysicist and founder of The Virtual Telescope Project, Gianluca Masi from the Bellatrix Astronomical Observatory in Italy. Those interested in tuning in can do so from 3pm on 4 March 2022.
‘2001 CB21 will have a relatively close and obviously safe fly-by with our planet, coming at about 4.9 millions of km from the Earth,’ said Professor Masi in a blog post inviting people to join him live for the encounter.