Asteroid 2012 DA14 NASA Live Stream: Watch The Closest Near-Earth Flyby Ever Recorded [VIDEO]

By Staff Reporter on February 15, 2013 11:31 AM EST

asteroid
Asteroid 2012 DA14 will fly past Earth just 22,000 miles away. The closest flyby ever recorded will be streamed tonight. (Photo: NASA)
Trajectory
This trajectory diagram indicates the asteroid will breach the Geosynchronous Satellite Ring. (Photo: NASA)

Scientists are comparing asteroid 2012 DA14 to the legendary meteor that fell in a remote region of Siberia more than one hundred years ago in 1908. Exploding just over the ground of Tunguska, the historic meteor flattened more than 830 square miles of forest.

The 130,000 ton asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass right over our skies on Friday evening, Feb. 15, 2013. Possessing a mass capable of flattening the entire city of London, astronomers announced that 2012 DA14 will fly closer to Earth than any asteroid of its kind ever recorded. Scientists also claim that if the near-Earth object ever enters our gravitational pull, its impact could cause 1,000 times the damage of the atomic bomb that ended WWII at Hiroshima almost seven decades ago.

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Scientists calculate the asteroid will fly just 22,000 miles above the earth at speeds up to 18,641 mph. According to 2012 DA14's trajectory, it will cut under the orbit of some artificial satellites used for weather forecasting or phone and television broadcasting. In fact, there is a chance that the asteroid could collide with a satellite and alter its path. That said, Near-Earth Object program scientist Donald Yeomans of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory insists that "no Earth impact is possible."

Scientists have never observed a narrow miss quite like this one. "In astronomical terms, that's very close," said Nottingham Trent University's astronomy expert Daniel Brown. Asteroid 2012 DA14 might as well be passing as close to Earth as possible without actually slamming into it.

Asteroid 2012 DA14 is but one of a threatening family of near-Earth objects (NEOs) that are usually small enough to be missed. However, if the trajectories point too close, this family of NEOs are large enough to cause significant damage to our planet.

A remarkable cosmic event, stargazing enthusiasts from all over the world will be capable of seeing 2012 DA14 with just a pair of retail binoculars.

According to NASA, asteroid 2012 DA14 will be closest to earth at approximately 7:25 p.m. Friday evening.

"This flyby will provide a unique opportunity for researchers to study a near-Earth object up close," says NASA.

International space agencies including NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory will live stream the passing asteroid tonight and broadcast it with live commentary online. In fact, NASA JPL will also include real-time animation indicating the asteroid's location in relation to planet Earth.

Be sure to bookmark this page to have access to all the available live stream channels dedicated to tonight's asteroid 2012 DA14 near-Earth flyby. Check out the links below to choose between the variety of channels.

NASA TV: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html

Gianluca Masi Virtual Telescope, Italy:

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory:


Live broadcasting by Ustream

NASA MSFC:


Live broadcasting by Ustream

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