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Anorak | Asteroid 2012 DA14: footage of a meteor smacking into Earth

Asteroid 2012 DA14: footage of a meteor smacking into Earth

by | 15th, February 2013

LOOK out! This is a video of a meteor smacking into the Urals. The impact injured 200 people. The meteor could be linked to asteroid 2012 DA14. That’s just passing by us. Phil Plait  notes :

[E]xcluding actual impacts, 2012 DA14 will be still only be the eighth-closest approach by a known asteroid on record. The  closest on record  without actually hitting us was  2011 CQ1 , which, in 2011, passed us by about 5500 km (3300 miles)—less than Earth’s radius! It was only about a meter across, so even if it had hit us we would’ve gotten a spectacular fireball, but probably no actual damage.

However, this is the largest asteroid we’ve seen come this close. Even then, it’s only 50 meters across, which is small as asteroids go.

What about it?

In the game of cosmic roulette that is our solar system, we just got lucky. Earth will get a very close shave on Friday, Feb. 15, when Asteroid 2012 DA14 passes just 17,000 miles from our planet. That is less than the distance from New York to Sydney and back, or the distance the Earth travels around the sun in 14 minutes. We are dodging a very large bullet.

The people of Earth also are getting a reminder that even in our modern society, our future is affected by the motion of astronomical bodies. The ancients were correct in their belief that the heavens affect life on Earth—just not in the way they imagined. Sometimes those heavenly bodies actually run into Earth. That is why we must make it our mission to find asteroids before they find us.

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Posted: 15th, February 2013 | In: News Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink