Close shave: Massive asteroid poses no threat to Earth

2013-02-13 00:00

ASTEROID 2012 DA14, measuring the length of a football field, will whizz past Earth, narrowly missing the planet, on Friday.

Frikkie de Bruyn, director of cosmology of the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa, said the asteroid would pass closer to Earth than any other in recent history at around 9.40 pm (SA time).

“It will pass below many of the satellites, but poses no threat to the Earth,” said De Bruyn, quoting a Nasa statement on the asteroid.

According to the South African Astronomical Observatory, the next close shave will be in 2020.

The observatory’s Dr Nicola Loaring said the asteroid would pass the Earth at a distance of about 27 700 km from its surface.

“The asteroid will pass within the Moon’s orbit and it will be closer to Earth than weather and communications satellites in geosynchronous orbit,” Loaring said.

Asteroid 2012 DA14 will be travelling at about 7,82 kilometres per second relative to Earth, said the Nasa website.

Claire Flanagan, of the Wits Planetarium, said it would be a challenge to see the asteroid.

She said Pietermaritzburg residents with backyard telescopes could try looking for it as it passes using the instructions provided by the planetarium at www.

planetarium.co.za.

You can watch all the action online at http://events.slooh.com/ or www.virtualtelescope.eu/2012/08/21/asteroid-2012-da14-a-record-close-approach.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.