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Close Approach of Asteroid 2012 DA14

12 Feb 2013, 22:20 UTC
Close Approach of Asteroid 2012 DA14
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Asteroid 2012 DA14 was discovered by J75 OAM Observatory, La Sagra on images taken on February 23.03, 2012 with a 0.45-m f/2.8 reflector + CCD. 2012 DA14 has an estimated size of 40 m - 90 m (based on the object's absolute magnitude H=24.09) and it will have a close approach with Earth at about 0.09 LD (Lunar Distances = ~384,000 kilometers) or 0.0002 AU (1 AU = ~150 million kilometers) at 1925 UT on 2013 Feb. 15. 2012 DA14 will pass only ~ 27,700 km (17,200 mi) above the Earth's surface, that is only 0.09 lunar distances or 5.4 Earth radii from the center of the Earth. So close that it will pass inside the ring of geosynchronous weather and communications satellites (located about 35,800 kilometers (22,200 miles) above the equator, but still well above the vast majority of satellites, including the International Space Station). Due to the extremely close approach, this object will be a very strong radar target at Goldstone where observations are scheduled on 2013 Feb. 16, 18, 19, and 20. Radar images should provide constraints on the size, shape, and rotation state of the object.Credit: NASA/JPL Near-Earth Object Program OfficeThis asteroid reached the peak magnitude ...

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