Great NASA video on the close call asteroid which will buzz the Earth next week.
It may sound unsettling to hear that a potential killer known as asteroid 2012 DA14 will be coming closer to Earth than telecommunication satellites on Feb. 15, but don’t panic: Earth’s gravitational field will give it such a kick that we’ll never have to worry about it again. It has been getting closer to Earth for quite a while, but this is the closest predicted flyby for this object both in the past and in the future. NASA’s calculations show that Earth’s gravity will perturb the 150-foot-wide (45-meter-wide) asteroid’s orbital period, which had been getting close to Earth’s own one-year orbit. Earth is going to actually put this one in an orbit that is considerably safer than the orbit it has been in. There is an extremely remote chance that 2012 DA14 could hit a satellite on its way in or out of Earth’s neighborhood, and that satellite operators were being given orbital tracking data as a precaution. That makes 2012 DA14 nothing more than one of the universe’s most vivid reminders that we live in a cosmic shooting gallery.