For a brief time on Friday February 15, 2013 a 150 foot long asteroid will be the closest thing to Earth.
The Moon is, on average, about 240,000 miles from Earth while Asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass just 17,200 miles above our atmosphere – the closest pass by any asteroid known in advance. That's definitely a close shave, but it has absolutely no chance of hitting the Earth.
Unfortunately the asteroid will not be visible from the Cincinnati area when it makes its closest approach (we'll be facing the other way). It's so small that observers in Europe, Asia, and Australia will still need binoculars or a telescope just to see it.
Astronomers can track the positions of asteroids with amazing accuracy.
The Cincinnati Observatory was in charge of collecting data on asteroids and comets from 1947-1978. Dr. Paul Hegret ran the internationally recognized Minor Planet Center out of the Cincinnati Observatory in Mount Lookout.
The Cincinnati Observatory will be open to the public on Monday February 18 from 7-9 p.m. to share views of the Moon's asteroid-battered surface.
Friday, August 22 2014 3:11 PM EDT2014-08-22 19:11:37 GMT
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