NASA warns of mega-asteroid 138971: Four times larger than the Eiffel Tower
Created: 03/04/2022 12:33 p.m
By: Martina Lippl
This is how an artist imagines a “near-Earth asteroid”.
However, asteroid 138971 (2001 CB21) is not a danger.
Asteroid 138971 is currently hurtling towards Earth.
According to NASA, the celestial body is gigantic.
On March 4, the asteroid approaches Earth.
At a safe distance.
Washington - NASA is keeping a
close eye on asteroid 138971
- also known as 2001 CB21.
Its diameter is said to be 1.3 kilometers.
Researchers claim the celestial body is four times larger than the Eiffel Tower.
March 4, 2022
, 2001 CB21 will approach Earth - and according to the NASA forecast, the asteroid will be closest to it around 7:59 a.m. (GMT).
NASA classified the asteroid as "potentially dangerous".
Do we need to worry?
How close does the asteroid fly to our earth?
How close does mega-asteroid 138971 (2001 CB 21) pass to Earth?
Asteroids that are less than 7.5 million kilometers away from Earth are classified by NASA as "potentially dangerous".
But don't panic: The majestic asteroid 138971 flies about 4.9 million kilometers past Earth on its orbit, NASA reports.
So there is no risk of collision.
Asteroid 138971 (2001 CB21): The image shows its location on March 4, 2022 at 8 a.m. (GMT).
Watch mega-asteroid 138971 (2001 CB 21) in the live stream
For astronomers, the event is probably very exciting even without apocalyptic scenes.
If you don't have a strong telescope at hand, you can watch the gigantic asteroid in the live stream on YouTube.
The spectacle is made possible by the Virtual Telescope Project led by Italian astrophysicist Gianluca Masi.
The telescope has been tracking the movement of the asteroid for some time, as can be seen on the website.
Photos of the giant in space can also be found there.
Asteroid 138971 discovered more than 20 years ago
Asteroid 138971 was identified on February 2, 2001 led by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) program.
Researchers say the asteroid is zipping through space at an incredible speed of 43,236 kilometers per hour.
Most recently, his course on February 18, 2021 caused a stir.
Asteroid 138971 is scheduled to next pass close to Earth in March 2043.
Danger from Outer Space: Asteroids
Asteroids are rocky, airless remnants left over from the early formation of our solar system some 4.6 billion years ago, according to NASA.
Most of this space debris orbits the sun between Mars and Jupiter in what is known as the main asteroid belt.
NASA telescopes continuously scan the night sky.
Around 3,000 new asteroids are discovered every year, and the trend is rising.
Researchers are also working on a "planetary defense strategy" to identify dangerous asteroids and fend them off if necessary.
With a sophisticated system, the impact risk is calculated automatically.
NASA emphasizes that asteroids are extremely predictable celestial bodies that obey the laws of physics and follow recognizable orbits around the sun.
According to the experts, anyone who thinks that there are chaotic objects racing through the solar system is wrong.
However, there would be special cases, such as Bennu.
Asteroid Bennu is one of the dangerous asteroids in our solar system.
NASA recently published new calculations of its trajectory.
A collision is therefore more likely than expected.
1,113,527 asteroids are currently known to NASA.
28,000 near-Earth asteroids have been found so far-
Asteroids vary in size: from 530 kilometers to less than 10 meters in diameter.
With a diameter of 530 kilometers, Vesta is the largest asteroid to date.
Vesta was discovered on March 29, 1807 in Bremen by Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers.
Bennu drifts close to Earth every six years.
The asteroid was identified by LINEAR on September 11, 1999.
And it's taller than the Empire Sate Building in New York.
US space probe "Osiris-Rex" collected rock and dust samples on a mission.
Again and again asteroids rush past the earth.
This includes the so-called asteroid "God of Chaos", which was named after an Egyptian deity.
It will even be visible to the naked eye as it approaches Earth.