Fact Box: Asteroid 2012 DA14

Asteroid 2012 DA14 fly-by closest to Earth
Newly discovered asteroid 2012 DA14 flew by closest to Earth.

  • DA14 is the largest known object of its size which passed this close without making any impact.
  • It shot past in a south-north direction above Earth on Feb 15-16, 2013.
  • About 2012 DA14
    It is a near near-Earth asteroid with an estimated diameter of 50 meters (160 ft) and an estimated mass of 190,000 metric tons. It was detected in February 2012 by La Sagra Observatory in southern Spain.

The asteroid flashed passed with a speed of 12,427mph (20,000kph) and 18,641mph (30,000kph). It flew inside the orbits of high geostationary satellites some 22,000 miles (35,406km) above the Earth. It is one of the moderate size asteroids which fly past Earth, on average, every 40 years, yet actually strikes our planet only every 1200 years or so. In 1908 a similar sized asteroid exploded in the atmosphere above Siberia and leveled hundreds of square miles of forest.

  • How its observations will help?
    It will help scientists to determine its minerals and spin rate.
  • The information will also help in plotting DA14’s future visits and also aid in development of techniques to prevent future asteroids.



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