Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (231937) 2001 FO32 close encounter: an image – 11 Mar. 2021
Next 21 Mar. 2021, the potentially hazardous asteroid (231937) 2001 FO32 will have a close, but safe encounter with our planet. It will come as close as 2 millions of km, so about 5.2 times the average lunar distance. We captured it a few hours ago.
The image above comes from a single 180-seconds exposure, remotely taken with the “Elena” (PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E) robotic unit available at Virtual Telescope. 2001 FO32 was very low on the Southern horizon (15 deg.), so the observing conditions were far from being ideal: despite this, the asteroid is well visible.
At the imaging time, asteroid (231937) 2001 FO32 was at about 32 millions of km from the Earth and it was quickly approaching us. It was discovered by the LINEAR on 23 Mar. 2001, exactly 20 years ago.
This 770 -1700 meters large asteroid will reach its minimum distance (about 2 millions of km) from us on 21 Mar. 2021, at 16:03 UTC. Of course, there are no risks at all for our planet.
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