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Valentine's Asteroid: 2012 DA 14 Will Get Very Close to Earth Next Week

Okay, don't panic. Everything will be fine. It is basically a lock that the world won't end after Valentine's Day.

Astronomers are almost always right about this sort of stuff.

On February 15th the Earth will have a close call with a “small” asteroid named 2012 DA 14, according to The Week. The asteroid, which is about half the size of a football field and measures 150 feet in diameter, will come inside the orbits of most of the man-made satellites circling the planet. Fortunately, scientists say there is no chance that it will strike the planet.

The asteroid was discovered just one year ago and, while it won’t hit Earth this time around, there is a chance that it could make contact with the planet when it circles around again sometime in 2110.

Sucks to be our descendants, amirite?

When the asteroid passes Earth it will only be 17,200 miles away from the planet’s surface. It is expected to pass over the eastern Indian Ocean, off Sumatra, around 2:24 p.m. East Coast time. To give an idea of how close it will be: many satellites circle Earth at a distance of around 22,000 miles.

Asteroid 2012 DA 14 is flying towards Earth at 17,460 miles per hour and weighs almost 287,000,000 pounds.  

In a press release, NASA said “The flyby of asteroid 2012 DA14 is the closest ever predicted Earth approach for an object this large.”

A NASA employee, Dan Yeomans, said that 2012 DA 14 is probably made out of stone, so even if it did somehow strike the planet, the results wouldn’t be as devastating as past asteroid collisions have been.

That said, next week probably isn’t the best time for boat enthusiasts to go out cruising on the Indian Ocean.

Source: (The Week)


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