Thursday, 17 January 2013

Asteroid 2012 DA14 - a close approach

image credit: wikicommons / nasa neo

Asteroid no. 2012 DA14 resembles a rocky potato and measures 35mtrs (115 ft) x 80mtrs (262 ft). 

It is predicted to pass through Earth's geosynchronous ring plane at a comfortable 0.09 LD*, or 35,000kms (21,750 miles) above the centre point of the planet; that is 28,500 kms (17,700 miles) above the planet's surface.

On 15th February 2013, the day after St. Valentine's Day, the romantic asteroid no. 2012 DA14 will be nearer to the Earth's surface than some of our orbiting satellites.

It will fly past the Earth at a relative speed of 28,000 kph (17,400 mph) and will be visible through binoculars from parts of Eastern Europe, Asia and Australia.

We shall no doubt be told more about this non-hazardous object as the date of its closest approach approaches.

*LD - Lunar Distance: i.e. the distance between Earth and Moon.

All numerical values are approximate. 

Update 15th February 2013:
Meteorite comes to Earth in Russian Urals. This, we are being told is NOT the same meteorite, just a coincidence! Nevertheless more than 100 people have been injured from flying glass caused by explosions in the air, according to a spokesman for the Russian Interior Ministry.


  1. Interesting. I saw about it on the TV the other night. You've got me looking into earth statistics (about the diameter, etc). I didn't know that due to the off-spherical shape of the earth and its nearness to the equator, the peak of the volcano Chimborazo in Ecuador at 20,561 feet (6267 m) is the point farthest from the center of the earth. Should that make it -and not Chomolungma- the highest mountain?

  2. Hi Dominic, I read that a good view of the asteroid might be obtained from Perth (Aus). Yes, the mountain top at the greatest distance from the Earth's centre point is NOT in the Himalayas. The top of Mt Everest is only the highest point above sea level. Even sea level is not fixed as it varies from one body water to the next. In fact Napoleon wanted to build the first Suez Canal but he didn't do so because the differences in sea levels in the Red Sea and the Mediterranean were too great for his engineers to come up with a workable plan which would avoid flooding.

  3. I dare say the politicians will find something to blame it for.

  4. May its gonna be bad time for our earth, apart from it on the other hand earth has become dirty with corruption, war, jealous, and disguising crimes so it would be better if few of such folk would be vanished from earth , including me if I am in that list :) :( :D

  5. They should put some traffic lights up there. Space is getting mighty crowded these days.
    Sher, thanks for comment. I wouldn't go so far as to wish anybody away but I know how you feel.

  6. A meteorite has just exploded in the sky in the Urals injuring more than 102 people (due to flying glass from broken windows) according to Russian Interior Ministry spokesman. However, this is not Asteroid 2012 DA14 which arrives later today.

  7. we are lucky to have escaped as per the scientists calculations !!! is it the same doom Mayan population was fearing about and the christian dominion discussed about "end"

  8. The Russians now report more than 1,000 injured mainly cuts from flying splinters of glass unfortunately include many schoolchildren.

    According to "doom experts" the Christian scenario is supposed to involve the next Pope, he being of the city on 7 hills etc.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.