Huge asteroid bigger than Empire State Building weeks away from passing Earth

Asteroid bigger than Empire State Building weeks away from Earth ‘close approach’, @NASA warns

Asteroids, Nasa

1/27/2022 11:37:00 PM

Asteroid bigger than Empire State Building weeks away from Earth ‘close approach’, NASA warns

Asteroids come close to earth on a regular basis, but the oddly-named 138971 (2001 CB21) is larger than most normal ones and has been labelled as 'potentially hazardous' by NASA

Labelled as 138971 (2001 CB21), the big rock has been designated as “potentially hazardous” and measures around 4,265 feet wide.It has also been added to NASA's Earth Close Approaches list – although it is not deemed hazardous enough and won't be near to crashing into the Earth when it flies past on March 4.

It will come close to Earth but will remain around three million miles away.The asteroid was first recorded passing earth on February 21, 1900, and has made frequent, almost yearly visits to our solar system ever since. It last appeared on February 18, 2021, although took a long break between 2011 and 2019.

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A new asteroid, larger than the Empire State Building, is set to come very close to Earth in just a matter of weeks time. Labelled as 138971 (2001 CB21), the big rock has been designated as “potentially hazardous” and measures around 4,265 feet wide. It has also been added to NASA's Earth Close Approaches list – although it is not deemed hazardous enough and won't be near to crashing into the Earth when it flies past on March 4. It will come close to Earth but will remain around three million miles away. The asteroid was first recorded passing earth on February 21, 1900, and has made frequent, almost yearly visits to our solar system ever since. It last appeared on February 18, 2021, although took a long break between 2011 and 2019. It is not clear if and where you will be able to catch a glimpse of it this time around – although it will be in our system at 7.59am - but it will be back to grace us with its presence on February 11, 2022, and again on April 24. It will then make three trips in 2024, in January, June and December. NASA has actually calculated the trips of the asteroid all the way up until October 11, 2194. Earlier this week, NASA-funded scientists told how they have found that the way the Earth rotates and orbits the sun means objects darting towards us at night can slip through a network of computerised telescopes. This means that asteroids could potentially go undetected close to Earth. A “near miss” of a 100-metre asteroid bolting past Earth only 43,000 miles away was enough to rattle the astronomical community in 2019. Given that it was spotted only 24 hours earlier, the US Congress tasked NASA with identifying 90 per cent of asteroids bigger than 140 metres which could destroy a large city if it landed. As part of Nasa's instructions to combat asteroid threats, it launched a heavy spaceship last year to smash into the moonlet of a comet to knock it off course. For more incredible stories from the Daily Star, make sure you sign up for one of our newsletters here.