An asteroid will pass near Earth on Friday: how dangerous is it?

According to NASA, 138,971 (2001 CB21) It is a small asteroid whose orbit crosses the orbit of the Earth. Classified by the US Space Agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) as A “potentially dangerous asteroid” due to its expected close passages with the earth.

For NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, this classification is determined based on the parameters that They measure the ability of an asteroid to approach Earth. That is, asteroids that cannot approach Earth more than 0.05 au (about 7,480,000 km) or that are less than 140 meters in diameter are not considered PHAs (potentially hazardous asteroids).

In the case of asteroid 2001 CB21, it orbits the Sun every 384 days. Depending on its brightness and the way it reflects light, It is estimated that its diameter may range between 0.560 and 1253 kmThat makes them larger than about 97% of asteroids, but they are small compared to large asteroids.

However Meets criteria that NASA may consider dangerous, which monitors near-Earth objects. In fact, according to spacereference.orga website that collects NASA information on asteroids, and this site is comparable in size to the Golden Gate Bridge.

However, 2001 CB21’s orbit is 0.02 AU (nearly three million km) from Earth’s orbit at its closest. For NASA, it’s a cause for concern, according to its classification Potentially dangerous, but this means that there is a wide gap between this asteroid and our planet at all times.

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On Friday, March 4, this asteroid will have one of the 21 close approaches planned in the coming decades.. It will pass at a distance of about five million kilometers, at a speed of 12 kilometers per second. After this we will have to Wait until September 29, 2026 for another approachAlthough this time it will pass about eight million kilometers.

If you want to take an approach next Friday, the virtual telescope project site is an event that will follow the passage of asteroid 2001 CB21, as posted the time.


The passing of the asteroid can be seen live

Lovell Loxley

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