Monday, February 4, 2013

Asteroid 2012 DA14 will touch the Earth

15 February 2012 DA14 small asteroid will pass so close to Earth that will be inside the ring of Geostationary weather satellites and communications satellites. NASA claims that the observations that are exactly expect the trajectory of near-Earth objects and the probability of collision exists. But the unique opportunity to study the asteroid.

The time of closest approach - 23:24 in Moscow (19:24 GMT), the distance - about 27,700 km (about 13 times closer to the moon). Recall: the ring of geostationary satellites located at 35 800 km, but the vast majority of devices (including the International Space Station) is located much lower. Flight speed of $ 7.8 km / s, direction - from south to north.

Despite such a remarkable convergence, even in the largest optical telescopes asteroid will be visible as a luminous point - because of its small size. Based on the brightness, astronomers estimated its 45 meters in diameter. Luminosity index is 7.5, so that the naked eye does not see the object, you need a pair of binoculars or a small telescope. Best observed in Indonesia, 2012 DA14 will move at a speed of about one degree per minute relative to the stars. In the rest of Asia as well as in Australia and Eastern Europe, too, can see the asteroid - with maximum rapprochement. By the time when the earth will turn and the 2012 DA14 can glimpse the continental U.S. residents, it melts to the 11th magnitude.

The asteroid was discovered in February 2012, participants in the program La Saga Sky Survey, carried out in the south of Spain, as soon as 2012 DA14 made friends with the Earth. Then he was about seven times more distant moon. Since the orbital period of the object is about 368 Earth days, he comes close to us every year. Expected transit - the closest three decades of future history asteroid. This meeting will lead to the fact that the orbital period of an asteroid falling somewhere up to 317 days, so it will go from class to class Apollo agony and will now be closer to the Earth by a different scheme.

By the way, the span will be a record of the objects of this size. Some other asteroids coming up to us even closer, but they were smaller. The average size of such an asteroid comes close to Earth at a distance of about once every 40 years. Collisions are even more rarely - once in 1200 years.

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