Friday's Asteroid will Miss Satellites, Earth but Captures Curiosity of Earthlings

By Ed Silverstein February 15, 2013

The asteroid that is expected to come close to Earth on Friday – but is a near-miss as far as a collision is concerned – has gotten a lot of attention from those of us on Earth.

There was media interest on the asteroid throughout this week, and much more since a meteorite crashed into Russia's Ural Mountains on Friday, leading to some 1,000 people getting injured.

The reason for meteorite falling is not connected to the asteroid, scientists say.

The asteroid measures 150-feet in width. It is called asteroid 2012 DA14. The asteroid is expected to be closest to Earth at 2:24 p.m. (EST) – at a distance of about 17,200 miles – which is something of a record.

It can be viewed online. NASA will show two views of the asteroid on the Web. One NASA site can be accessed by clicking here or another here.

“No one on Earth is in danger, nor will any of our satellites be hurt or damaged," Jim Green, director of NASA's planetary science division, said in a video statement. It will pass near but not collide with communications satellites in space.

"We're going to use our radars to bounce radio waves off this asteroid, watch it spin, look at the reflections and understand its size, its shape and perhaps even a little bit about what it's made of," Green added.

Some people on the planet may be able to see the asteroid with at least binoculars or a small telescope. It will appear as a “point of light streaking across the sky at a rate of 0.8 degrees per minute,” according to Space.com. “The asteroid will be extremely faint and will be moving very rapidly across the sky, making it hard to track in telescopes.”

In addition to NASA TV, the asteroid can be watched online through images provided by Europe’s Virtual Telescope Project and the Bareket Observatory in Israel. Other online video is available from the Planetary Society website.

NASA Television will provide commentary starting at 2 p.m. EST on Friday about the asteroid. Images of the asteroid from astronomers in Australia and Europe are scheduled to be shown at about noon EST on another NASA website.

The websites will be useful for curious observers.

"This asteroid will be slightly too small to appear to the unaided eye," astronomer Bob Berman told Space.com. "And although simple binoculars could theoretically see it, its rapid motion will make locating this asteroid a major challenge for all but a small coterie of dedicated, serious astronomers with good star charts and a clock providing the absolutely correct time."

Asteroids similar in size to this one come close to Earth every 40 years, but only strike Earth once in 1,200 years, Space.com reported.




Edited by Brooke Neuman

TechZone360 Contributor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Mobile is the Next Great Front in Digital Video Monetization

By: Tara Seals    7/7/2015

As opposed to TV's channel-surfing-friendly programming presentation, online and mobile video has always been seen as more of a foraging experience wh…

Read More

Google Entering Carpool Lane in Israel

By: Andrew Bindelglass    7/7/2015

Google launched its crack at a ride-sharing service in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv Monday, aiming at supplementing traditional taxi services and tran…

Read More

Amazon Looks to Supplant Black Friday with Prime Day Deals

By: Andrew Bindelglass    7/7/2015

Amazon, the online buying and selling behemoth that originated as online bookstore and subsequently became one of the Internet's largest marketplaces,…

Read More

The DiePhone: The Many Ways Your Smartphone Could Kill You or Someone You Love

By: Rob Enderle    7/7/2015

An iPhone case shaped like a gun has been flagged on the East Coast and it comes with a "fun" Russian roulette app. I'm sure there are stupider things…

Read More

Tables are Turned as Hackers are Hacked

By: Andrew Bindelglass    7/6/2015

In an ironic turn of events, one of the world's largest providers of surveillance technology was hacked last night. The Hacking Team is an Italian-bas…

Read More