The Mayans may have been right after all! Well, it’s no earth-killer but asteroid DA14 will be arriving on a collision course with Earth around February 15, 2013. This 60-meter (197 feet) wide asteroid will be coming close to under 27,000 kilometers from hitting the Earth. Closer than some satellites orbiting the Earth. Real close.
NASA Scientist talked with students at Russia’s University of Electronics and Mathematics stating that there is a possibility the asteroid will collide with Earth, but further calculation is required to estimate the potential threat and work out how to avert possible disaster.
“The Earth’s gravitational field will alter the asteroid’s path significantly. Further scrupulous calculation is required to estimate the threat of collision … The asteroid may break into dozens of small pieces, or several large lumps may split from it and burn up in the atmosphere. The type of the asteroid and its mineral structure can be determined by spectral analysis. This will help predict its behavior in the atmosphere and what should be done to prevent the potential threat,” said Dr. Dunham.
In the event of an impact where the asteroid remains intact, scientists are estimating its destructive power similar to the Tunguska blast, which in 1908 knocked down trees over a total area of 2,150 sq km (830 sq miles) in Siberia.
It is too late now to make an “Armageddon movie” style effort to go alter the orbit of this asteroid so we’re all going to have to prepare for the fact that this might be coming to a neighborhood near you.
Original Source: Blast it or paint it: Asteroid to threaten Earth in 2013
Update: Others are stating that this asteroid is only 45-meters in diameter and will miss the Earth in 2013. Although they mention they’re uncertain if there will be a direct hit when DA14 comes back around in 2020.