Asteroid 2012 DA14 – Earth Flyby Reality Check

Small near-Earth asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass very close to Earth on February 15, so close that it will pass inside the ring of geosynchronous weather and communications satellites. NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office can accurately predict the asteroid’s path with the observations obtained, and it is therefore known that there is no chance that the asteroid might be on a collision course with Earth. Nevertheless, the flyby will provide a unique opportunity for researchers to study a near-Earth object up close. Here are the facts about the safe flyby of Earth of asteroid 2012 DA14 — a record close approach for a known object of this size.

These real-time simulations depict asteroid 2012 DA14 in its orbit around the sun and provide the asteroid’s current distance from Earth. 2012 DA14 will have a close, but safe, pass by Earth on Feb. 15, 2013 at 2:25 p.m. EST (19:25 UTC). At that time, the asteroid will pass no closer than 17,000 miles above the surface of Earth over Indonesia. The simulations, created with NASA’s Eyes on the Solar System, refresh every two minutes.

Click here to watch the real-time simulations

Credit: NASA


Posted 1 year ago with 71 notes
Tagged:NASAscienceearthasteroid2012 DA14close flybyastronomyastrophysicsspacecosmos

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