06:18 GMT14 April 2021
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    The American space agency’s asteroid tracking system earlier revealed that a giant space rock was rushing toward earth at 34 kilometres per second to closely pass by our planet at the end of March.

    NASA tried to calm sky watchers over a “potentially hazardous” 2001 FO32 asteroid that is set to pass close to the Earth on 21 March.

    ​The rock, measuring up to 1.7 kilometres in diameter, will not hit our planet, the agency has assured the world through Twitter. The reason is simple – the space object is travelling too far from the Earth to cause any harm to our home.

    “You may have seen headlines about an #asteroid that will safely fly by Earth on March 21,” NASA wrote. “While this asteroid, known as 2001 FO32, is large, it will safely zip past Earth at a distance of 1.3 million miles—five times further away than the Moon—and poses no risk of hitting Earth.”

    1.3 million miles equals around 2 million kilometres – or 0.01348 astronomical units. The moon rotates around our planet at a distance of about 238,856 miles.

    The space agency’s message triggered a wave of comments from the internet crowd who joked that a post designed to calm people has had the opposite effect.

    “Like the start of a disaster movie this tweet,” one person wrote.

    Tags:
    space, asteroid, NASA
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