Friday, February 15, 2013

The Other Asteroid That Missed Earth

We got a rude awakening as the human race when a meteor exploded over Russia today injuring hundreds and served as a reminder to just how little we are and how it could all end in a split second.  Luckily, the impact today was nothing like the 1908 one that devastated 80o square miles of Siberian forest.

Now, this is the other asteroid, 2012 DA14, that came uncomfortably close to hitting us.  And how big is 2012 DA14? Here are some notes of interest.

  • Discovered on February 23, 2012.
  • It is only 150 foot long.  That's what?  1/2 a football field?  it also weighed about 190,000 metric tons.
  • It was only 17.2K miles from our surface.  It came well within orbits of geosynchronous communication satellites.
  • 17,500Mph
To be sure, it's an event that we really need to pay attention to but it was upstaged by the Russian explosion. And one more thing, the two events are not related.

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