Massive asteroid to zoom past Earth this weekend

New York, New York - The largest asteroid that scientists have ever seen will pass by Earth particularly close on Sunday.

A massive asteroid is expected to pass by Earth this weekend (stock image).
A massive asteroid is expected to pass by Earth this weekend (stock image).  © 123RF/markoaliaksandr

This asteroid, known as 2001 FO32 will zip past Earth at a distance of 1.3 million miles – five times further away than the Moon – NASA announced.

It will pose no risk to our planet. 2001 FO32 is about 3,000 feet in diameter and was discovered by scientists 20 years ago.

"We know the orbital path of 2001 FO32 around the Sun very accurately," said Paul Chodas, director of the Center for Near Earth Object Studies.

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"There is no chance the asteroid will get any closer to Earth than 1.25 million miles."

NASA said the special asteroid will pass by at about 77,000 miles per hour faster than the speed at which most asteroids fly by Earth. It won't come this close again until 2052, they said.

Astronomers now hope to get a better understanding of the asteroid's size and surface.

Cover photo: 123RF/markoaliaksandr

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