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See an Asteroid’s-Eye-View of Friday’s Close Approach Between 2012 DA14 and Earth

If you haven’t heard yet, this Friday, February 15, 2013 will be a close flyby of an asteroid named 2012 DA14. It’s turning out to be a highly anticipated event, as it will pass just 27,630 kilometers (17,168 miles) from the surface of the Earth, well within the range of many Earth-orbiting satellites. If you could watch the action from the vantage point of space, what would this flyby look like? Analytical Graphics, Inc., a company that creates modeling and analysis software for space, defense and other areas, has put together an animation which includes the asteroid’s trajectory as it approaches Earth, a closeup of the asteroid during its closest approach, a highlighted portion of Earth orbit that it is expected to pass through, and other interesting data.

The video above also provides a view of the asteroid’s pass by Earth below the geosynchronous orbit belt, how it will crossing the equatorial plane from South to North, a size comparison, and how the Earth/Moon will perturbs the asteroid’s orbit.

This asteroid is about 50 meters (164 feet) in size. Asteroid experts, including NASA’s Don Yeomans has , said there is no possibility of this asteroid hitting Earth, and they have also effectively ruled out the chance of any satellites getting hit.

The asteroid will not be bright enough to be visible with the unaided eye, but will be visible to backyard astronomers with good telescopes. The timing of the pass will allow viewers in eastern Europe, Africa, Australia and New Zealand to have the best chance of seeing this asteroid.

See our complete guide on how to see Asteroid 2012 DA14.

This asteroid must be stirring the imaginations of many; already renowned and award-winning space artist David A. Hardy has created a painting of his impression of 2012 DA14’s approach to Earth:

Painting of Asteroid 2012 DA14. © David A. Hardy/www.astroart.org

Painting of Asteroid 2012 DA14. © David A. Hardy/www.astroart.org

Thanks to Hardy for allowing us to post his lovely artwork. You can see more at his website, and he did an interview with us last year, which you can read here.

Animation courtesy of (AGI).

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • bombuzal February 13, 2013, 7:11 PM
  • Fernando Beltran February 13, 2013, 8:28 PM
  • Aqua4U February 13, 2013, 9:34 PM

    INCOMING! I haven’t heard what resources here on Earth will be mobilized to monitor this asteroid yet…. but expect radar (SARS) dishes will be pointed at it as well as interested amateur and professional scopes. Spectroscopy anyone? It’d be way cool to get live data or images… any takers or links appreciated.

  • Jerry Alez Jerry Alez February 14, 2013, 4:03 AM

    I know I heard the Arecibo telescope will be monitoring it along with some others.

  • bugzzz February 14, 2013, 8:36 AM

    Wow, great animation.

  • ITSRUF February 14, 2013, 6:21 PM

    Interesting that the distances were in miles, but the size of the asteroid was in “m’s.”
    Another MPL oops.
    For US audiences: 50 m = 165 feet.

  • gary February 14, 2013, 10:47 PM

    my roomate's aunt makes $79 every hour on the computer. She has been without work for six months but last month her pay was $21678 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on this site jump14.ℂom

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