Science & Nature — 10 February 2013

Our planet will be visited by an asteroid flying by in close proximity on February 15th (one day after V-Day).

There are many asteroids entering our atmosphere all the time. About 100 tons of rocks come in from space every day, and they are mostly small, from the size of a grain of sand to the size of a human fist.

This particular asteroid is called 2012 DA14 and will pass by Earth at a distance of about 27,000 km from the center of the Earth, within about 3.5 Earth radii of the Earth’s surface. It is thought to be 45 meters in diameter with a mass of about 130,000 metric tons and will come no closer than 17,100 miles from our planet’s surface. An object the size of 2012 DA14 appears to hit Earth about once every 1,200 years.

Asteroid close to Earth

Its orbit is almost circular but still enough elliptical to pass near Earth two times per year. Scientists said there’s no chance it will hit Earth (one wonders do they really know) and for the best view with a telescope you must be located in Eastern Europe, Asia or Australia.

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