In Two Weeks This 50-Meter Asteroid Will Buzz Our Planet

On February 15 a chunk of rock about 50 meters wide will whiz by Earth at nearly 8 km/s, coming within 27,680 km of our planet’s surface — closer than many weather and communications satellites.

For those of you more comfortable with imperial units, that’s 165 feet wide traveling 17,800 mph coming within 17,200 miles. But regardless whether you prefer meters or miles, in astronomy that’s what’s called a close call.

Scientists stress that there’s no danger of an impact by this incoming asteroid, designated 2012-DA14, but it’s yet another reminder that in our neck of the Solar System we are definitely not alone.

“2012-DA14 will definitely not hit Earth,” says JPL’s near-Earth object specialist Don Yeomans. “The orbit of the asteroid is known well enough to rule out an impact.”

But with 2012-DA14′s upcoming February flyby Yeomans notes, “this is a record-setting close approach.”

The rocky asteroid will come within about 4 Earth radii, which is well within the orbits of geosynchronous satellites. During its closest approach at 19:26 UTC it should be visible in the sky to amateur telescopes (but not the naked eye), becoming as bright as an 7th- or 8th-magnitude star.

Radar observatories will be watching 2012-DA14 during the days leading up to and following its approach in an attempt to better determine its size, shape and trajectory. NASA’s Goldstone facility will have an eye — er, dish — on DA14, but it won’t be visible to Arecibo. Stay tuned for more info!

Read more about 2012-DA14 on the JPL Near-Earth Object Program page here.

Click here to watch the video

Credit: NASA/JPL, Jason Major/Universe Today


Posted 1 year ago with 6,371 notes
Tagged:AstronomyasteroidNASAjplearthspacecosmosscienceasteroid flyby

  1. magiclifesfan reblogged this from geologise
  2. grahamyoungdesign reblogged this from spaceplasma
  3. mothalla-girl reblogged this from ieverydayeverynight
  4. ieverydayeverynight reblogged this from spaceplasma
  5. joisbv reblogged this from spaceplasma
  6. inspiracionajena reblogged this from jheneaiko
  7. jelenati reblogged this from spaceplasma
  8. freeartbell reblogged this from unexplainedthings
  9. justbeingnamaste reblogged this from finding-things-out and added:
    Great Post , thank you . :) meteor stay away LOL
  10. ctnsl reblogged this from khyaal
  11. svijetlousrcu reblogged this from geologise
  12. zzzsahmi reblogged this from discoverynews
  13. helistensheunderstands reblogged this from jheneaiko
  14. fronk-jaeger reblogged this from piss-hubbo
  15. dannyboy139 reblogged this from geologise
  16. neeneen7 reblogged this from supertights
  17. hpcancel reblogged this from cold-candle
  18. rindahpcassia reblogged this from adipasah
  19. ihavenoexperiencehelpme reblogged this from discoverynews
  20. iamarebel1908 reblogged this from jheneaiko
  21. citizen73 reblogged this from astrotastic
  22. nearbonny reblogged this from itsfullofstars
  23. saturnsgarden reblogged this from spaceplasma
  24. yuhans reblogged this from ohnuit
  25. simbawasastoner reblogged this from discoverynews
  26. blossomofthemayflower reblogged this from discoverynews and added:
    Watch Melancholia and you will be terrified of this.
  27. daynearerdying reblogged this from aworthyendeavor
  28. w-mitty reblogged this from radicalhobbits
  29. miccheckone212 reblogged this from jheneaiko
  30. chaos617 reblogged this from chaos617 and added:
    (via TumbleOn)
  31. feezix reblogged this from somuchscience
  32. ikn0wuarebutwhatami reblogged this from screamingdonkey and added:
    Did anyone else realize that this ACTUALLY HAPPENED, but it hit Russia. I reblogged this weeks ago….
  33. multifandomsexual reblogged this from stormofthunder
  34. stormofthunder reblogged this from misterchisuun
  35. johnwastaken reblogged this from undietcocacola