NASA reported that it detected a “potentially dangerous” asteroid that will pass close to Earth during the first days of March. The rocky body was identified by scientists as 138971 (2001 CB21).
According to calculations made by astronomers, this asteroid it has a diameter of approximately 4,000 feet, which represents a size equivalent to four times the height of the Eiffel Tower.
By the time 2001 CB21 is closest to our planet, it will be traveling at a speed of 26,800 miles per hour.
Although the rock is classified by NASA as potentially dangerous, from the Center for Near Earth Object Studies of the space agency they point out that there is no risk that it could impact the Earth in the near future.
They argue that the asteroid will remain at a distance of more than 3 million miles, which is equivalent to more than 10 times the space that separates the Earth from the Moon.
This is not the first time that scientists have been able to take a look at 2001 CB21 as its passage through the vicinity of our solar system was recorded for the first time on February 21, 1900, since that time its trajectory has led it to pass close to our planet almost annually.
On January 30, Gianluca Masi, an astronomer with the Virtual Telescope Project in Italy, managed to capture an image of the asteroid when it was more than 21.5 million miles away.
According to the Space Reference web portal, 2001 CB21 is larger than about 97% of known asteroids..
Rocky bodies like this asteroid are not especially rare, and an example of this is 7482 (1994 PC1) which passed close to Earth’s orbit on January 18. At that time, the asteroid was 3,280 feet wide, which represents a size equivalent to more than twice the height of the Empire State Building, whose height is 1,454 feet from its base to its antenna.
The main difference between both events is that the one that occurred during the month of January occurred at a significantly smaller distance.. On that occasion, the asteroid’s path placed it at a distance of 1,231,184 miles from our planet.
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