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2012DA14

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

30 Jan , 2013

by

 Asteroid 2012-DA14 will pass Earth closely on Feb. 15, 2013 (NASA)

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.

2012da14_s

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.

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rob krol
Guest
January 30, 2013 1:22 AM

he dont hit earth but if he can colide with satelite ?and in efect change orbit to more dangerous ??

Jason Major
Guest
January 30, 2013 1:45 AM

There are no satellites in the region where DA14 will be transiting.

Lawrence B. Crowell
Member
Lawrence B. Crowell
January 30, 2013 12:53 PM

Even if the asteroid impacted a satellite that would change the orbit about as much as your car’s velocity changes because you hit a bug.

LC

Bobr
Member
Bobr
January 30, 2013 2:06 AM

Here’s a fun application for determining your chances…

http://www.purdue.edu/impactearth

Louis Poulas
Guest
Louis Poulas
January 30, 2013 4:14 AM

When did they discover DA14?

Jason Major
Guest
January 30, 2013 4:56 AM

Feb. 23, 2012.

Dampe
Guest
Dampe
January 30, 2013 7:53 AM

if one of these where to collide with the Earth, could scientists accurately predict where it would hit on the surface? So if it where to hit a city like New York, people could evacuate the city in time?

Amanda Ross Chaussey
Guest
January 30, 2013 2:29 PM

If something like this hit the Earth, it wouldn’t matter where it hit. Guess why the dinosaurs aren’t here anymore.

DinSel1
Guest
DinSel1
January 30, 2013 3:08 PM

No it would matter. Watch the video fully mate. It explains how much damage it can do.

Its 50 meters wide. Not 10000 meters (like the one that is supposed to have wiped out asteroids).

skipdallas
Member
skipdallas
January 30, 2013 4:11 PM

(like the one that is supposed to have wiped out asteroids). Dinosaurs?

DinSel1
Guest
DinSel1
January 30, 2013 11:39 PM

LoL yes, it was very late at night and I was tired.

skipdallas
Member
skipdallas
January 30, 2013 11:41 PM

Snertle! Just jerking your chain! I knew it was a mind bubble!

DinSel1
Guest
DinSel1
January 30, 2013 3:16 PM
Yes they can predict where on Earth it would fall…. but the problem is the prediction may not be very precise…. until too late…. The more the Asteroid is being watched, the more of its orbit becomes clear and then calculations become more accurate…. At first you could tell that it would strike somewhere in North America, then after some time you could narrow it down to East USA, and then you could even narrow it down to what City (or near it) it would hit….. If it was on its way to New York? Could NASA find that out in time? How much is “on time” anyway? How many days or weeks does it take to evacuate… Read more »
skipdallas
Member
skipdallas
January 30, 2013 4:09 PM

Worst case: What could an object this size do to Earth? Would the effects be local, regional, national or global? I really would like to hear the science.

DinSel1
Guest
DinSel1
January 30, 2013 11:42 PM

Well watch the video to the full mate. They do explain it in there. Watch it from 1.39 to 2.24

bugzzz
Member
bugzzz
January 30, 2013 9:02 AM

That’s remarkably close. Amazing how the potential end of humans might just be floating out there somewhere.

VenkyORG
Guest
VenkyORG
January 30, 2013 10:13 AM

So what are the “GLOBO-COPS” up to? Are they training their super guns already, to minimize if not obliterate the projectile size before it reaches us, ricocheting off a hapless satellite!

canderson
Guest
canderson
January 30, 2013 5:13 PM

Slightly misleading graphic and headline (“…this 50-meter asteroid…”). The image shown is an artist’s rendering only. We’ve never imaged this thing up close.

Brad Forschner
Guest
Brad Forschner
January 30, 2013 8:20 PM

I’m looking forward to working on the radar assignments with this asteroid.

Adam Lenz
Guest
January 30, 2013 9:44 PM

any chance its visible to the naked eye or what part of the world could see it, anyone know a website that might have this information?

Jason Major
Guest
January 31, 2013 4:33 AM

It will not be visible without a telescope.

Janne Piiroinen
Guest
January 31, 2013 12:22 AM

I wonder if they have ruled out a collision with the moon aswell…

Paul Felix Schott
Guest
Paul Felix Schott
January 31, 2013 11:37 PM
ALL THAT EVER LIVED ON EARTH WILL SOON HAVE THEIR EYES TO THE HEAVENS ALL Should Look Up “2012 DA14”. This could take out one of more satellites and the junk and debris from the hit could end up taking out many more satellites very soon after that. All the satellite collision probability will go way up if even one is hit. The velocity that the parts would go to would make them missiles that would start targeting a chain reaction this would not be good. Most all will be watching this one and pray it goes by us without a hit. Every Scientist alive will be watching this event. Many will be in Florida for a very… Read more »
Jennifer Lynn Nodine
Guest
February 7, 2013 11:19 PM

Has anyone else taken note that on February 13th, both 2012 DA14 and 2013 BV15 will be at the exact same distance from Earth; .0096 AU? I know it’s a great big sky and that their proximity to Earth does not necessarily mean that they will be in the same location in space, but what are they odds that they might collide and send either one hurtling right at us?

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