On February 15 an asteroid is going to come close to Earth.How close?
About 17, 100 miles, which is between us and the highest communication satellites about 22,000 miles above us.
This particular asteroid is called 2012 DA14 and is headed toward us at about 17,000 miles per hour, eight times the speed of a bullet from a high-speed rifle. It’s 45 meters — about half a football field — long.
If it were to hit our planet it would collide with the energy of 2.4 megatons of TNT. This is comparable to the event in Tunguska, Russia, in 1908. That asteroid entered the atmosphere and exploded, leveling trees over an area of 820 square miles — about two-thirds the size of Rhode Island.
NASA says 9,672 objects have been classified as Near Earth Objects, or NEOs, as of February 5. Near Earth Objects are comets or asteroids in orbits that allow them to enter Earth’s neighborhood. More than 1,300 Near Earth Objects have been classified as potentially hazardous to Earth, meaning that someday, they may come close or hit Earth.
NASA scientists reiterated Thursday that people have nothing to worry about.This one is going to miss us: “No Earth impact is possible.”
That’s one down and 9,671 more to go, I guess.