facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Asteroid to make close Earth visit

March 15, 2012 at 3:36 PM   |   Comments

PARIS, March 15 (UPI) -- An asteroid approaching Earth in 2013 will get closer than the orbits of many satellites, highlighting a need to monitor such hazards, European scientists say.

An amateur team discovered the unusual asteroid, dubbed 2012 DA14, Feb. 22 as it flew by Earth at about seven times the distance of the moon, the European Space Agency reported Thursday.

However, on its next flyby, Feb. 15, 2013, it is predicted to pass Earth at less than 15,000 miles, closer than many commercial satellites, the ESA said.

"This is a safe distance, but it is still close enough to make the asteroid visible in normal binoculars," Detlef Koschny of the ESA's Space Situational Awareness office said.

While an impact with Earth has been ruled out as a possibility on the asteroid's next fly-by, astronomers will use its near approach for additional study and to calculate the gravitational effects on it of Earth and the moon.

"We will also be keen to see the asteroid's resulting orbit after the next close approach in order to compute any future risk of impact," Koschny said.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
MAVEN space probe to reach Mars this weekend MAVEN space probe to reach Mars this weekend
2
NASA says they found smallest known galaxy with a black hole NASA says they found smallest known galaxy with a black hole
3
Study: Chimps are natural born killers Study: Chimps are natural born killers
4
Facebook reportedly creating another photo sharing app Facebook reportedly creating another photo sharing app
5
Dogs are the favorite food of leopards in rural India Dogs are the favorite food of leopards in rural India
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback