Asteroid 2012 DA14 to Whiz Past Earth Safely

By Marc Boucher
February 8, 2013
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Asteroid 2012 DA14 to Whiz Past Earth Safely
Looking down from above Earth's north pole.

The small near-Earth asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass very close to Earth on Feb. 15, 2013. It will be so close that it will pass inside the ring of geosynchronous weather and communications satellites.
Asteroid 2012 DA14 will be closest to Earth at about 11:24 a.m. PST (2:24 p.m. EST and 1924 UTC), on Feb. 15, when it will be at a distance of about 27,700 kilometers (17,200 miles) above Earth’s surface. NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office can accurately predict the asteroid’s path with the observations obtained, and it is therefore known that there is no chance that the asteroid might be on a collision course with Earth. Nevertheless, the flyby will provide a unique opportunity for researchers to study a near-Earth object up close. Includes interview with Donald K. Yeomans, Manager of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office, Jet Propulsion Laboratory.


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