Asteroid the Size of the Golden Gate Bridge will Whiz Past Earth in March
Don’t panic; it won’t get that close.
By Patrick Pester | Live Science Staff Writer
February 10, 2021 | An asteroid as wide as the Golden Gate Bridge is long will hurtle past Earth next month. But although it will be the biggest and speediest asteroid to fly by our planet this year, there’s no reason to panic.
3D illustration of an asteroid flying past Earth. (Image credit: Aleksandra Sova via Shutterstock)
The space rock, officially called 231937 (2001 FO32), is about 0.5 to 1 mile (0.8 to 1.7 kilometers) in diameter and will come within 1.25 million miles (2 million kilometers) of Earth at 11:03 a.m. EST (1603 GMT) on March 21 — close enough and large enough to be classified as “potentially hazardous,” according to a database published by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
An asteroid is designated as “potentially hazardous” when its orbit intersects with Earth’s at a distance of no more than about 4.65 million miles (7.5 million km) and it is bigger than about 500 feet (140 meters) in diameter, according to NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS).