Even as new asteroids are constantly being identified, a new threat has been discovered by Spanish astronomers this past week may trump them all. Asteroid DA14 has a diameter of around fifty meters and will pass the Earth on February 15, 2013 so close that it will actually be closer than normal man-made satellites. NASA has verified the findings and has determined that the asteroid will miss Earth by only 26,900 kilometers on that date. The average satellite in orbit stays at a range of 35,700 kilometers, so it is easy to see that this will be dangerously close. Even more disconcerting is that the asteroid was only discovered on Thursday, February 23, 2012, forcing us all to wonder how many more DA14-like asteroids are out there that might be sneaking up on an unsuspecting Earth.
While NASA insists that the close call will be just that, the real threat here could be in the future. Astronomers are still trying to determine the specifics on DA14’s orbit to find out if it may pass even closer in future visits. Or, more importantly, collide. Some astronomers are already putting their heads together to try to decide what tactics Earth could use to try to alter the asteroid’s orbit if it should be likely to impact.
Hmm, sounds like a Hollywood movie, doesn’t it?
Common Sense Conspiracy will continue to keep you updated on Asteroid DA14 as more information becomes available.