Saturday 9 February 2013

2012 DA14 Flyby

The asteroid 2012 DA14 will zoom past our planet on the 15th of February at about 20 UT. What makes this even special, is that it passes us really close, about 28000 km from the surface of Earth. Keep in mind that the satellites  that broadcast satellite tv are at about 36000 km. You can see some fun facts about the asteroid on the youtube video prepared by NASA above.

The fact that this asteroid is passing us so close, means that we have a chance of measuring it with the EISCAT UHF incoherent scatter radar. We also happen to be approximately on the same side of Earth as the asteroid will pass, which will allow us to measure it very close to its nearest point. With some luck, next week we will have radar echos of the asteroid show you. 

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