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Asteroid DA14 2012 Flyby LIVE: When and Where to Watch Online

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Asteroid NASA Video: Watch Asteroid DA14 2012 Skim Pass the Earth

150ft-long Asteroid 2012 DA14 is skimming past the Earth, closer than any other near-miss on record. According to Sky News, the huge chunk of rock — so big it could wipe out out London — is travelling closer to the planet than many satellites and it should be visible as "a tiny dot of light crossing the sky" (and there is a "remote possibility" that it could collide with one of more than 100 telecommunication and weather satellites in fixed orbits). 

Click here to watch NASA's simulation of Asteroid 2012 DA14

Can Asteroid 2012 DA14 Hit the Earth?

In the wake of the 11-ton meteor that fell in Russia's Ural Mountains, injuring 900 people as it entered the Earth's atmosphere at a speed of at least 33,000 mph, many are wondering if we're as safe as NASA claims as 150-feet across Asteroid 2012 DA14 approaches our planet. One of them is Astronomy and Astrophysics professor, Neil F. Comins, who recomends not to ignore the effects of Asteroid 2012 DA14 because "we are not always right."  

What if the asteroid's path were to change today? What if our predictions were devastatingly wrong? 

 

Asteroid 2012 DA14 LIVE STREAM: Watch HQ Asteroid Fly-By

Half the size of a football field, the massive asteroid known as 2012 DA14 will pass about 17,000 miles from Earth, traveling five miles per second.

Scientists at NASA will be taking radar imagery to learn more and eventually help avoid impact from future asteroids.

NASA's experts on near-Earth objects say that the time of closest approach will come at 2:25 p.m. ET, when the asteroid is zooming above the eastern Indian Ocean at a speed of almost 17,500 mph (7.8 kilometers per second). It'll be too dim to see with the naked eye, but observers in Australia, Asia, and Europe might be able to follow it with binoculars or small telescopes if they know exactly where to look.

Luckily for those of us unable to see the asteroid, NASA has provided a live stream:


Streaming video by Ustream

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DA14: First Asteroid Pictures Emerge

Asteroid 2012 DA14 makes its closest approach to Earth at 2:25 p.m. ET Friday, and the world’s astronomers have been on the lookout for it. 

Take a look at this sequence of images, sent by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory from the Faulkes Telescope South, in Siding Springs, Australia:

Although Asteroid 2012 DA14 is the largest known object of its size to pass this close, scientists say there is no chance of an impact, this week or in the foreseeable future.

Currently, DA14 matches Earth's year-long orbit around the sun, but after Friday's encounter its flight path will change, said astronomer Donald Yeomans, with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Asteroid LIVE: Watch Online Here

People in the Eastern Hemisphere may be able to spot Asteroid DA14 2012's flyby with the help of strong binoculars or a small telescope. However, NASA will provide a Ustream feed of the flyby from a telescope at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama (the broadcast starts at 3:00 p.m. and goes until 6:00 p.m. (PST) on February 15. Slooh.com will also be streaming live images from two observatories of the flyby (also goes from 3:00  to 6:00 p.m. PST). Similarly, The Clay Center Observatory in Brookline, Massachusetts, will live streaming from the observatory's Ustream channel.

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Will Asteroid DA14 2012 Hit the Earth?

PolicyMic's own Adam Hogue reports that though Asteroid DA14 2012 won't hit the Earth, the 150-feet missile-like space rock — with enough power to wipe out New York City with the energy of 185 Hiroshima bombs — will miss us a day after Valentine's Day. So we're safe ... for now. 

From Hogue:

An asteroid that is 150-feet across is not life-threatening to our existence here on Earth. A similar event occurred in 1908 in Siberia. The event, now known as the Tunguska Event occurred on the Podkamennaya Tunguska River. Eyewitness accounts recall a large, hot "thing" hurtling towards the Earth. While there is some speculation as to what the "thing" was, (aliens, the god Ogdy) it is generally believed to have been a meteoroid that was 120-feet across that smashed into the Earth releasing a fireball with the energy of 185 Hiroshima bombs.

The Tunguska explosion knocked an estimated 80 million trees down over an area covering 830 square miles. But while the damage at Tunguska was significant, no lives were lost during the disaster, thanks to the location, and life eventually returned to normal. As Kurt Vonnegut would say, "so it goes."

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Asteroid 2012 DA14 Will Miss Us By Just 15 Minutes, Says Bill Nye

Planetary Society's Bill Nye told CNN that Asteroid 2012 DA14 will miss the Earth on February 14 "by about 15 minutes." "15 minutes difference and that's it,"Nye said. "So it's something that we humans all over the world ought to get involved in, this asteroid-hunting. We're the first generation of people that could do something about it. It's exciting science, but it also, I hope, gives everybody a little pause for thought," he added. Nye added that the asteroid is about the same size as the one that caused Arizona's Meteor Crater, and the famed 1908 Tunguska event in Siberia. 

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Will Asteroid 2012 DA14 Hit Earth?

Asteroid DA14 - big enough to cause a localized Judgment Day for a small to medium sized city - is scheduled to make a close call with the Earth on February 15th, but it's currently expected to pose no danger to life on the Blue Planet.
 
So why, exactly, are huge chunks of space rock flying around waiting for the right combination of angle and velocity to send us back to the Stone Age? PolicyMic's Michael Suede explains the predominant thesis of asteroid formation:
 
"The standard theory of asteroids supposes that they are the shattered remnants of planetesimals, 'bodies within the young Sun’s solar nebula that never grew large enough to become planets.'"
 
However, Suede proposes an alternate hypothesis:
 
"Enter plasma cosmology. Plasma cosmology takes the approach of including electrical forces within the astrophysical plasma that is present in space.  This theory of cosmology was founded by the Nobel Prize winning physicist Hannes Alfvén."
 
"In plasma cosmology, asteroids are the product of 'electrical discharge machining.' That's a fancy term for lightning bolts blasting rock into space."
 
Read more about the schools of thought on asteroid formation with Suede here.
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Asteroid DA14 2012 Flyby LIVE: When and Where to Watch Online

On February 15, Asteroid 2012 DA14, a 150-feet cosmic rocky object, will pass within 17,000 miles of Earth's surface — below the 22,236-mile altitude where major weather and communications satellites operate, but above low-Earth orbit where the International Space Station operates.

According to specialists, the object presents no threat to either Earth or satellites. However, n ext week's "fly-by" will be the closest that an object of such size has passed the planet (objects in this size come this close about once every 40 years, on average, and collide with Earth at an average rate of one every 1,200 years).

Where to Watch:

According to LA Times, people in the Eastern Hemisphere may be able to spot the asteroid zoom by with the help of strong binoculars or a small telescope. However, NASA will provide a Ustream feed of the flyby from a telescope at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama (the broadcast starts at 3:00 p.m. and goes until 6:00 p.m. (PST) on February 15. Slooh.com will also be streaming live images from two observatories of the flyby (also goes from 3:00  to 6:00 p.m. PST). Similarly, The Clay Center Observatory in Brookline, Massachusetts, will live streaming from the observatory's Ustream channel.

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