Thursday, February 14, 2013

Asteroid Alert!

Before you start envisioning scenes from "Armageddon", let me start off by saying don't panic! This asteroid isn't expected to hit anything over the next 24 hours.

Courtesy: LCOGT/Faulkes
With that said, a major asteroid will pass extremely close to the Earth Friday afternoon. Here's a look at the asteroid. According to NASA, these pictures were taken at the Faulkes Telescope South in Siding Springs, Australia. The asteroid is the large bright spot moving near the middle of the field of view. The other dots are stars in the background. A line that appears in one of the frames comes from a satellite that passed through the field of view.

Courtesy: NASA
To give you an idea of the size of this thing, the asteroid is about the size of half a football field.

Courtesy: NASA

Scientists say the asteroid, called "Asteroid 2012 DA14", will be about 17,200 miles away from the surface of the planet when it passes us Friday afternoon. This will be the closest an asteroid of this size has ever come to hitting the Earth.

If you're wanting to check out the asteroid, it won't be visible to the naked eye, so you'll have to wait for more images of the asteroid to come out as it passes by. -BA

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