Tonight, asteroid 2012 DA14 will flyby within 17,200 miles of earth. Skywatchers in Australia, Asia and Europe will be able to watch the asteroid with a good pair of binoculars will stargazers in other parts of the world will be able to watch a live stream of the flyby below.
NASA says that there is no chance that the asteroid will hit earth but several people are still worried about impact? Why? Well, hundreds of people were injured today when a meteor crashed down in Russia.
NASA says that the meteor in Russia was not related to asteroid 2012 DA14.
“According to NASA scientists, the trajectory of the Russia meteor was significantly different than the trajectory of the asteroid 2012 DA14, making it a completely unrelated object. Information is still being collected about the Russia meteor and analysis is preliminary at this point. In videos of the meteor, it is seen to pass from left to right in front of the rising sun, which means it was traveling from north to south. Asteroid DA14’s trajectory is in the opposite direction, from south to north.”
NASA, of course, isn’t the only space agency with their eyes on the sky. Space observatories from around the world will be watching the asteroid as it flysby earth. NASA will communicate with other observatories during the asteroid’s flight in order to determine the exact size (believed to be about 150-feet wide), speed, shape, and spin rate of the asteroid.
“It will be observed by numerous optical observatories worldwide in an attempt to determine its rough shape, spin rate and composition. NASA scientists will use NASA’s Goldstone Solar System Radar, located in California’s Mojave Desert, to take radar images of the asteroid to determine its precise size and shape on Feb. 16, 18, 19 and 20. The NASA Near Earth Object Observation (NEOO) Program will continue to track the asteroid and predict its future orbit.”
Here’s the livestream from NASA.