NASA is closely monitoring another asteroid as it is projected to pass a mere 3 million miles from our planet this week.
Asteroid (138971) 2001 CB21 is not only a likely candidate for Elon Musk’s next child’s name, but it’s also the name of the 4,265-foot asteroid that will be passing near Earth this Friday. And while 3 million miles might seem a bit far away to cause concern, NASA has already classified the object as an official Near-Earth Asteroid.
If you’re interested in checking out the giant space rock that has also been classified by NASA as a Potentially Hazardous Object, you can check it out at the Virtual Telescope Project 2.0 during their livestream starting at 10 p.m. ET (03:00 UTC) on March 4.
The asteroid can be tracked via NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Small-Body Database Lookup website that uses a virtual simulator to track the object’s path near Earth. This website allows the prediction of projected paths that extend out over 100 years.
NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) has calculated that the asteroid will be traveling at a speed of around 7.5 miles per second, which allows it to orbit the sun once per year. Even with that speed, we won’t have to worry about (138971) 2001 CB21 coming this close to Earth again until March 6, 2043.
I’ll be retired to an off-grid island off the coast of Mexico by then, so you kids have fun.