A big asteroid sailed past Earth last month, and astronomers haven’t yet totally excluded the possibility that it’ll hit us when it comes around in 2032. If the past is any guide, we won’t have to worry about asteroid 2013 TV135 — but it’s a reminder that we’ll have to fend off a killer space rock one of these days.
There aren’t yet any advance warning systems that could give Earthlings a heads-up before an untracked space rock hits. But a telescope project in Hawaii aims to change that, and potentially provide a chance for those in threatened areas to evacuate.
(Photo: LCOGT / E. Gomez / Faulkes South / Remanzacco Observatory)
The best way for most of us to watch asteroid 2012 DA14 come within 17,200 miles of Earth on Friday afternoon, and then recede harmlessly into the cosmos, is to fire up your Web browser and watch the show online.
It may sound unsettling to hear that a potential killer known as asteroid 2012 DA14 will be coming closer to Earth than telecommunication satellites on Feb. 15, but don’t panic: Earth’s gravitational field will give it such a kick that we’ll never have to worry about it again.