Asteroid 2012 DA14, opened a few days ago, the Spanish astronomers in February next year comes closer to the Earth, and if you do not face it, is not very long approach to our planet, said astronomer Victor Lvov, head of the Pulkovo Observatory ephemeris support.
Asteroid 2012 DA14 was discovered on February 23 Spanish La Sagra Observatory (OLS — Observatorio Astronomico de La Sagra) in the province of Granada. Then follow the Spanish astronomers have been confirmed by the French, Italian and American scientists.
Astronomers have found that 2012 DA14 refers to the family of the Apollo asteroids whose orbits cross the orbit of the planet. It is to this type belong to about two-thirds of known asteroids near Earth (NEA). According to preliminary data, the size of this heavenly body can range from 40 to 95 meters.
Calculations show that the February 15, 2013 the asteroid will fly at very close range — 26.9 thousand kilometers away from the Earth, that is, below the orbit of geostationary satellites.
Lvov said that the celestial body is one of the so-called kvazisputnikov soorbitalnyh Earth or asteroids that periodically move near our planet, falling behind, then ahead of her.
"These are the objects that are from time to time moving around the earth. Actually, they do not go around the Earth, but in a coordinate system with two centers — the Sun and the Earth — it will be like to orbit the Earth," — said the scientist.
According to him, it is impossible to say exactly what will be coming next February rapprochement. Calculations made on the basis of the available 30 observations show that this will be a very close encounter when 2012 the DA14 can pass at a distance of about 26,000 kilometers.
"We have to watch him, he can be as far away from Earth and closer, including up to fall to Earth. There is some probability that it will face with the Earth. Only way out for us — this type of observation, the new observations allow us to clarify the orbital data and accurately learn the fate of this object, "- said the scientist.
He stressed that 2012 DA14 is not a global threat because its size is only about 60 meters. However, with the fall of the body to the Earth can be expected events that are similar in scale to the Tunguska catastrophe.
Apophis, the asteroid 2004 MN4 diameter of 350 meters, is currently the most serious threat to the well-known space for humanity. It is known that in 2029 it will be held at a short distance from the Earth, and can then change its orbit so that the next time you approach with the planet in 2036 can run with it.
Lvov said that after his rapprochement DA14 will go into the "free floating" and not long come to Earth. According to calculations, he once again approach 16 February 2056 (at a distance of approximately 1.1 million kilometers), and then February 16, 2089 — a distance of about 3.5 million kilometers. "More close encounters in this century no" — he added.
Employee of the department of space astrometry Institute of Astronomy Sergei Naroenkov said that there is no evidence of the possibility of a collision with Earth DA14.
"While this asteroid risk is not calculated until the expected collision. Approach will be next year, as the orbit will change after this is hard to predict," — he said.