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A Close Encounter of the Asteroid Kind
02-11-2013, 09:30 AM
Post: #1
A Close Encounter of the Asteroid Kind
Quote:A near-Earth asteroid – called 2012 DA14 by astronomers – will pass very close to Earth on February 15, 2013. Astronomers estimate that, when it’s closest to us, it’ll be within the orbit of the moon (which averages about a quarter million miles away), and closer than some high-orbiting communications satellites. 2012 DA14 will be about 17,200 miles (27,680 kilometers) away. It will not strike Earth in 2013. Astronomers’ calculations of asteroid orbits can be trusted. After all, even decades ago, they knew enough about calculating orbits to send people to the moon and bring them safely back, and today we are able place our space vehicles in orbit around objects as small as asteroids.

The asteroid won’t be visible to the eye, but you can watch the February 15 asteroid flyby online, in real-time.

So, no, 2012 DA14 won’t strike us in 2013. There was a remote possibility it might strike us in 2020, but that possibility has been ruled out also.

http://earthsky.org/space/asteroid-2012-...th-in-2013

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02-11-2013, 03:02 PM
Post: #2
RE: A Close Encounter of the Asteroid Kind
From what I heard of its size, the gravitational pull won't be big enough to skew any ocean tides, although it might well make Frank Luntz's hairpiece lean to one side if he's not careful.

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02-11-2013, 04:27 PM
Post: #3
RE: A Close Encounter of the Asteroid Kind
I wonder how much it's trajectory will be altered passing so close to the Earth.

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02-11-2013, 05:11 PM
Post: #4
RE: A Close Encounter of the Asteroid Kind
(02-11-2013 04:27 PM)There Is No Spoon Wrote:  I wonder how much it's trajectory will be altered passing so close to the Earth.

That is a good question.

I think the scientists can make a rather accurate prediction of the change but the real answer won't come until several days after the pass. Several days of observations should give them a good picture of the change as well as the actual mass of the object.

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