An asteroid 150 feet across will pass very close to the Earth early next year. How close? Much closer than the Moon, closer than some geosynchronous satellites, a mere 17,000 miles away. The object (called 2012 DA14) won’t hit us, but if it did it would have the power of a nuclear bomb, since it’s travelling at 28,000 miles an hour. Should we build a spaceship and nuke the thing before it gets any closer, like in the movies, just to be on the safe side? Too late. It would take a couple of years for the project, and the asteroid arrives within kissing distance around Valentine’s Day 2013.
DA14 was dicovered earlier this year by the Observatorio Astronómico de La Sagra, in the mountains of Analusia. The observatory has been tracking asteroids, comets, meteors and space junk since 2009. ¡Gracias!
Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-cHu
Animation by Chris Laurel via Bad Astronomy.
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