Asteroid 2012 DA14 Near Miss Encounter with Earth in 2013

Asteroid DA14 close encounter with Earth:

According to a news published by European Space Agency,  a newly discovered asteroid is going to miss our planet in 2013. The asteroid, 50m in size, will come even closer to earth than many of our commercial satellites.

The asteroid was discovered by an amateur team of scientists on 22nd February and is named as 2012 DA14. It is expected to fly by earth next year on 15 February 2013 and closing earth at a distance of 27000 km, even closer to some of our commercial satellites.

Asteroid 2012 DA14 and Earth orbits intersection
Asteroid orbit is in yellow and Earth in green. The two orbits intersect twice per year. Credit-Deimos-Space

The asteroid is of very small size so it was difficult for scientists to spot this asteroid. When it was discovered last year, it had already flown past earth at about seven times the distance of the Moon. This year, on its return journey to earth, this asteroid will come even closer to earth but still at a safe distance to pose any threat to humanity. Scientists say that at this distance, the asteroid will be visible to normal binoculars too.

Scientists have calculated the preliminary calculations of asteroid DA14′s orbit and the result shows that this asteroid has a very similar earth-like orbit with 366.24 days period of one complete cycle of a terrestrial year. This close encounter of this asteroid with earth will help scientists to better understand the gravitational effects of moon and earth on asteroids. Scientists have though ruled out an impact between earth and DA14 asteroid next year.

Here is a video news update on asteroid 2012 DA14 explaining the orbit and details about the asteroid’s next close fly by event.

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