Tags: asteroid | coming | close | earth

Asteroid Coming Closer to Earth Than Any Before – Without Hitting It

Wednesday, 06 Feb 2013 09:20 AM

By Michael Mullins

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
An asteroid large enough to destroy a major U.S. city is expected to whiz past the Earth the day after Valentine's Day, coming closer to hitting the planet than any object of its size before, experts say. Of course, they're not counting those that have actually slammed into Earth.

Known as 2012 DA14, the asteroid has a 148-foot diameter and the mass equivalent of a cruise ship, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

Though it is not the largest asteroid that scientists have ever seen, the 2012 DA14's size is similar to another asteroid that exploded over Siberia in 1908 and flattened 80 million trees.

When it is closest to the Earth on Feb. 15, the asteroid will be about 17,000 miles from the Earth's surface, which is 5,000 miles below the altitude that most major weather and communications satellites operate.

While the asteroid will approach the Earth, astronomers have adamantly declared that there is no chance it will strike the planet.

"Its orbit is very well-known. We know exactly where it's going to go, and it cannot hit the Earth," Don Yeomans, a NASA specialist for near-Earth objects, told CNN.

Paul Chodas and Don Yeomans, astronomers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said that on average asteroids of this size come this close to Earth once every 40 or so years and collide with the planet once every 1,200 years.

A team of amateur astronomers in Spain discovered the 2012 DA14 last February.

"These small objects can appear at any moment," Jaime Nomen, a Barcelona dental surgeon who led the team, told CNN.

Nomen said his team routinely hunts for small objects in the orbit that might not appear until weeks before they approach.

Comprised of stone rather than metal or ice, the asteroid will pass by the earth at an even closer distance in 2110, at which point there will still be a small chance the object will hit the planet, astronomers say.

This isn't the first asteroid to make headlines in recent months.

In early December, a 3-mile-wide asteroid passed the earth at a distance of approximately 4.3 million miles. If it collided with the Earth, scientists say the impact could have killed off the human race, just as scientists hypothesize a 6-mile-wide asteroid decimated dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
 
 
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Crooks Steal From 5-Year-Old Cancer Patient; TVs, Video Games, PS4 Gone

Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 15:40 PM

Police are on the hunt for the crooks who stole electronics from a 5-year-old brain cancer patient's St. Louis home. . . .

Lost Luggage Found 20 Years Later Returned to Arizona Woman

Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 15:16 PM

Lost luggage found 20 years later was returned to an Arizona woman with a handwritten note on Tuesday. . . .

Bus Driver Takes Cane From Blind Boy, Replaces It With Pool Noodle

Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 15:07 PM

A Kansas City school bus driver took away an 8-year-old blind boy's cane this week and replaced it with a pool noodle, o . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved