Earth is safe as the 46-meter asteroid is set for flyby by next week
2012 DA14 (Image from nasa.gov)
Earth will definitely avoid a potential catastrophe as a 46-meter
asteroid is to pass the planet from a safe, though remarkably close
distance, said scientists from NASA.
The asteroid was discovered last year
by Spanish astronomers and since then sparked fears of a possible
cosmic collision that would have released the energy equivalent of 2.4
million tons of TNT and would have had the potential to wipe out 750
square miles if it did impact the Earth.
But scientists reassured the world on Thursday that there is no real threat.
“No Earth impact is possible,” said Donald Yeomans, manager of NASA’s Near-Earth Object program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “No one has raised a red flag, nor will they,” Yeomans told reporters. “I certainly don’t anticipate any problems whatsoever.”
celestial body, referred to as 2012 DA14, is projected to come as close
as 27,520 km on February 15 – which is closer to our planet than the TV
satellites that fly some 800 km higher. It will pass at a speed of 13
km per second.
It is the closest encounter with an object of its size since scientists began routinely monitoring asteroids about 15 years ago.
last time the Earth was struck by a major cosmic body was in 1908, when
an asteroid or comet exploded over Siberia, leveling 80 million trees
over 2,150 square km.
"Although they wouldn't (cause) a global catastrophe if they impact the Earth, they still do a lot of regional destruction," said Lindley Johnson, who oversees the Near-Earth Object Observations Program at NASA headquarters in Washington DC.
asteroid will be invisible to the naked eye, appearing only as a small
point of light even to those observing it by telescope. The prime
viewing locations will be in Asia, Australia and Eastern Europe.
NASA adds that the flyby will provide a unique opportunity for researchers to study a near-Earth object up close.
66 million years ago, a 10 km diameter asteroid smashed into what is
now the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, leading to the demise of the
dinosaurs as well as most plant and animal life on the planet.
2/08/2013 09:06:00 AM
Thanks to: http://www.ascensionwithearth.com