Asteroid 2012 DA14 Will Barely Miss the Earth on February 15 (VIDEO)
(Photo : NASA)
The asteroid, dubbed 2012DA14, will barely miss the Earth on February 15, 2013 according to NASA.
The asteroid will pass the earth so close that it will enter inside the ring of geosynchronous weather and communications satellites.
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NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office can precisely predict the asteroid's movement with the observations gained and it is certain that there is no possibility that the asteroid may be hit the Earth.
The space agency will use its Goldstone radar in California's Mojave Desert to track the asteroid from Feb. 16 to Feb. 20.
Asteroid 2012 DA14 will be closest to Earth on Feb. 15, at about 11:24 p.m. PST (2 p.m. EST and 1924 UT), when it will be at a distance of about 27,700 kilometers (17,200 miles) above Earth's surface.
Even though 2012 DA14 is coming extremely close, it will still just appear as a point of light in the biggest of optical telescopes, because of its small size.
“The asteroid will travel rapidly from the southern evening sky into the northern morning sky with its closest Earth approach occurring about 19:26 UTC … About 4 minutes after its Earth close approach, there is a good chance it will pass into the Earth’s shadow for about 18 minutes or so before reappearing from the eclipse,” the agency noted in a statement released on Wednesday. “When traveling rapidly into the northern morning sky, 2012 DA14 will quickly fade in brightness.”
"This is a record-setting close approach," Don Yeomans, the head of NASA's asteroid-tracking program, said in a statement.
According to NASA’s Near Earth Object Program, 2012 DA14, which was found last February, weighs around 130,000 metric tons and has an diameter of 45 meters approximately (148 feet).
Asteroid 2012 DA14 is about the same size of the object that exploded in the atmosphere above Siberia in 1908.
Astronomers say asteroids as big as 2012 DA14 pass Earth approximately every 40 years. They make impact once every 1,200 years.