4000ft In Miles, An Potentially Dangerous Asteroid Is Passing Earth: On March 4, an asteroid with a diameter of up to 4265 feet will come within a few miles of Earth. Despite the fact that the asteroid (138971) 2001 CB21 will pass safely by our planet, sky watchers will still get a treat.
4000ft In Miles, An Potentially Dangerous Asteroid Is Passing Earth
Despite The Minimal Likelihood Of A 100-Year Impact
The Virtual Telescope Project 2.0 is allowing space enthusiasts to see (138971) 2001 CB21 safely pass by Earth from the comfort of their own home.
Despite the fact that this may appear to be a long distance away, it qualifies as a Near-Earth Asteroid per NASA’s definition. In spite of the low probability of it impacting Earth in the next 100 years. It is massive enough to designate as a Potentially Hazardous Object (PHO).
According to NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), when (138971) 2001 CB21 makes its close approach to Earth. It will be travelling at a speed of approximately 7.5 miles per second.
A bullet fired by an M16 rifle travels 13 times quicker than a Lockheed Martin F-16 jet fighter reaches. It is maximum speed of 18 times faster.
While (138971) 2001 CB21 takes just 384 days (1.05 years) to complete one orbit of the sun. Also, it won’t be this close to Earth again for some time. Once again, on March 6, 2043, 2001 CB21 will travel within 2.99 million miles of Earth as it makes a close approach to our planet.
The diameter of (138971) 2001 CB21 is estimated by CNEOS to be somewhere in the range of 1837 to 4265 ft. There’s a discrepancy in the sizes of these space pebbles that astronomers think is to blame.
How Is NASA Able To Estimate The Size Of Asteroids?
Astronomers use albedo, or the amount of visible light reflected off an asteroid’s surface, to determine its diameter. But an asteroid’s light reflection isn’t just determine the size. It also depends on the asteroid’s composition and how loose or closely packed the debris is at the surface.
A lighter “chalky” asteroid with looser or dustier material on its surface may appear larger to astronomers. Whereas an asteroid with a charcoal-like surface will reflect less light, thus appearing smaller. Large black asteroid may appear the same size as tiny lighter colored asteroid from millions of miles away.
Infrared light can be used to estimate an asteroid’s size by measuring the amount of heat it emits while travelling through space. A larger item would look brighter in infrared light, regardless of how much visible light it reflects.
The asteroid’s size can determine by analyzing its visible light reflection and detecting its infrared signature. According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at MIT.