Asteroid 2012 DA14 is coming extremely close to Earth on Feb. 15, 2013, passing closer than our geosynchronous satellites, which include satellite TV and other satellites. No, it won't hit us, but at 45 meters in diameter, this is the largest asteroid that has come so close since humans have been making great efforts to track such things. Our Planetary Society members and donors truly made this happen: the discovery of this asteroid was made possible by a camera provided to La Sagra Observatory in Spain through the Planetary Society Shoemaker Near Earth Object (NEO) grant program that allowed detection of a fast moving object missed by the professional surveys. We get to point the world's telescopes at this 2013 close flyby and learn more about this asteroid and its orbit because of you.
Here is information on resources we at The Planetary Society have put together to get you up to speed on this event ranging from video, to radio, to an FAQ:
Here is a 5 minute video to introduce you to 2012 DA14 and its close approach:
Video guide to the February 15, 2013 Close Pass by Asteroid 2012 DA14
Planetary Society Director of Projects Bruce Betts reassures us in this brief and fascinating explanation of what will happen--and what WON'T happen--when this big asteroid comes closer to Earth than many satellites. For more information after watching this, see our Guide to 2012 DA14 close approach and links therein.
Thank you for supporting The Planetary Society's efforts to help prevent the only preventable natural disaster. Though this is a reminder we live in a cosmic shooting gallery, 2012 DA14 won't hit, so we can just enjoy this amazing astronomical event!