Astronomer: Near-Earth Asteroid Won't Be Visible From Georgia

If it were to hit earth, 2012 DA 14 would flatten an area about 750 miles in diameter, says David Dundee of Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville.


An asteroid Friday will pass Earth within the moon's orbit, flying lower than communications, weather and GPS satellites high above the planet, according to Space.com.

While it will be the nearest to Earth an object of its size has ever passed, asteroid 2012 DA 14 won't be visible from Georgia, even with a telescope, because the action will happen during the daylight hours, said astronomer David Dundee, who analyzes images and data captured by NASA's fireball cameras at Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville. 

"The distance is about 1/13th the distance to the moon," Dundee said, adding the asteroid will be the closest—17,200 miles from Earth—at 2:24 p.m. "2012 DA 14 is about 150 feet across and traveling at a speed of over 17,000 miles per hour.

"There is no chance of this object hitting the Earth on Friday or any time in the foreseeable future," Dundee said. "If this object were to hit the Earth it would flatten an area about 750 miles in diameter."

2012 DA 14 was discovered nearly a year ago, prompting speculation the asteroid, which NASA says will travel rapidly from the southern evening sky into the northern morning sky, might hit a satellite.

It will be close, and about 100,000 others could be headed our way, says famed science educator Bill Nye, who heads up the Planetary Society.

"This one will miss us by about 15 minutes—15 minutes difference and that's it," Nye told CNN.

He said 2012 DA 14 should serve as a wake-up call to the importance of defending Earth against asteroid impacts.

"Get nervous, but not about this one," Nye said.

Tell us what you think in the comments, share your photos and videos, and don’t miss any of the local news you care about—subscribe to Cartersville Patch's newsletter, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »