An Asteroid Is Coming to a Planet Near You

2012 DA14
Fast Image Trail of Asteroid 2012 DA!14
Image Credit: Courtesy Jaime Nomen, La Sagra Observatory

On 15 February 2013, asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass within 22,500 kilometers of the Earth. Geostationary satellites orbit 35,800 kilometers above the surface.

This asteroid is roughly the same size as the object that burst over Tunguska Siberia in 1908.

Our friends at The Planetary Society provided the funds that allowed La Sagra Observatory in southern Spain to upgrade one of their telescopes with a new camera capable tracking fast moving objects like 2012 DA14, and determining their orbit. The new instrument has found more than ten Near-Earth Objects (NEO), along with a previously unknown comet.

The key to the new discoveries involve fast read-out Charge-Coupled Devices (CCD) and revised image filtering software used with the space-junk tracking program at La Sagra.

3 thoughts on “An Asteroid Is Coming to a Planet Near You

    • Jason, I suspect that the orbital parameters are good. We won’t get hit. But the sensationalists will figure out some way to make headlines. Thanks for stopping by.

  1. Faced with the data, it is striking that the scientific literature does not include a relational analysis Earth – Moon – 2012 DA14. Where the asteroid is in direct relation to the Moon and Earth. In turn, our natural satellite strongly influences life on Earth. For example, as a variation to its eccentricity more progressive affects us directly.

    Thank you very much, from Argentina

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