NASA, the United States space agency has revealed that a giant asteroid measuring 680 meters in diameter will zip past the earth on March 21, 2021. Space experts believe that this asteroid could be the biggest space rock that makes its close approach this year with the earth.
More details about this giant asteroid
During the time of its close approach, this asteroid will be screeching at a speed of 1,24,000 kilometers per hour. If an asteroid hits the earth at such a great velocity, it could kill millions of people in a fraction of a second and will reshape the entire geography of the affected area.
Fortunately, this asteroid named 2001 FO32 is not going to hit the earth, as it will safely whiz past the planet. During the time of its close approach, this rogue space rock will be almost two million kilometers away from the earth.
"Called 2001 FO32, the near-Earth asteroid will make its closest approach at a distance of about 1.25 million miles (2 million kilometers) – or 5 1/4 times the distance from Earth to the Moon. There is no threat of a collision with our planet now or for centuries to come," wrote NASA in a recent statement.
Asteroid 2001 FO32 was detected by NASA in 2001 and since then the space agency has been observing its trajectory. According to experts at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 2001 FO32 will make its next close approach in 2052.
Threats posed by space rocks
Around 66 million years ago, a giant space rock hit the earth and resulted in the extinction of dinosaurs. Since then, no such devastating event has taken place on earth, and it played a crucial role in the evolution of humans. However, top space expert Dr Iain McDonald believes that similar devastating events could wipe out life from the surface of the earth in the future.
According to McDonald, devastating events like asteroid hits are not confined to the past, and it will happen in the future. Popular American physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson had also shared similar views, and he also believes that humanity will face extinction due to asteroid hit in the future.