By the Earth approaching asteroid the size of a 14-storey building

Direct supply from NASA satellites see today, 15 February, from 23.00 on our site.

So close to our planet is not yet fit any space body

Asteroid 2012 DA14 discovered by astronomers from La Sagra Observatory in Spain last year. And they were amazed at what he saw. Fast-moving bright point like haunted planet, has attached to it in a ponytail. Watched the strange companion.
And it turned out that the body is moving around the Sun in almost the same orbit as the planet, and almost to the same period of revolution around our star — 365 days. And while revolves near-Earth twice.

But so far these rendezvous took place at a safe distance from us — about 200-300 thousand miles. And just this year decided to get to the asteroid blue planet closer. In the night from 15 to 16 February 2012 DA14 will be with us at the closest distance — 34,000 km. This is even lower than the orbit of geostationary satellites.

Flight scheme asteroid.

Do not repeat the catastrophe of 1908, when over the Siberian taiga exploded heavenly body? Scientists admit: if we are lucky. If the Tunguska meteorite fell four hours later, he would have destroyed St. Petersburg. But then, almost a hundred years ago, a meteorite just fell from the sky. What astronomers know today about a new visitor?

— This can be attributed to an asteroid kvazisputnikam Earth — explained Researcher of space astrometry Institute of Astronomy, Candidate of Sciences Sergei Naroenkov. — Objects such as 2012 DA14, periodically converge to our planet, then behind, then ahead of her.

— Them that — a lot!

Currently, there is only a few of these asteroids and their small size. Diameter 2012 DA14 — about 40 meters. For comparison — the Tunguska meteorite was the size of 60-80 meters, and the asteroid Apophis, which we expect to visit in 2029, the size of three football fields — about 300 meters.


— NASA was careful to note, "There is some probability that he will face with the Earth." Are they right?

— Have been identified: Asteroid 2012 DA14 is not absolutely no threat to Earth. Collision will not.

— What event should happen to hit it in us?

Typically, when an asteroid close approach to the planet, the orbit of a celestial body is changing. The same thing will happen to this asteroid. But in this case we are lucky: the orbit changes so that the following encounters collision will not.

— And if the asteroid has fallen, what would happen?

It's nothing. As a rule, the celestial bodies smaller than 30-40 meters completely burned in the atmosphere. But the important part of the body — it is a stone or metal. The metal body may stay very small splinter.

— Where you can watch flight?

— Most of all, lucky people in the European part of Russia, on which the asteroid will be after midnight.

— Through binoculars it can be seen?

The naked eye under good conditions, you can only see objects up to 6 of the apparent magnitude. A 2012 DA14 is eighth. So they can be admired only in the telescope. Unfortunately, the big cities asteroid will not see because of the great light pollution. But if you go out of town, you need to look to the south-east. Since the asteroid will move quickly across the sky, it can be seen passing by several Constellation: Virgo, the Dog, the Great Bear and the Dragon.


American scientist Don Yeomans, who heads NASA program to monitor the near-Earth objects, recently said: "Despite the fact that the asteroid is small, if it collided with Earth, it would produce an explosion of power of 2.5 megatons of TNT. This is enough to destroy a city like London. "


Asteroid to fly past Earth today, would cost about $ 200 billion

Asteroid 2012 DA14, probably consists of many nutrients, including iron, nickel, water, which can be split into hydrogen and oxygen and used as fuel for rockets. These substances could be very useful in space exploration in the near future, say the American company Deep Space Industries (DSI), which hopes to start developing the first asteroid for mining of minerals

Worth it, because now sending materials to orbit costs about 10 million dollars per ton of cargo. According to specialists DSI, even if it were possible to remove the 5% contained in the asteroid 2012 DA14 water, it would cost $ 65 billion, and 10% of metals — 130 billion. The calculations are based on the estimated weight of the asteroid 130 thousand tons.

Alas, the asteroid 2012 DA14 is not suitable for development because it's orbit around the sun has a greater angle than the orbit of the Earth. This means, says Daily Telegraph, that the cost of energy on seeking to achieve it will be very great.

Scientists around the world are watching a unique cosmic phenomenon, and with them, his eyes fixed on the sky, and journalists "Komsomolskaya Pravda".

Scientists around the world are watching a unique cosmic phenomenon, and with them, his eyes fixed on the sky, and journalists "Komsomolskaya Pravda".

Special Correspondent "KP" Eugene Arsyukhin following the asteroid from Moscow, and his colleague from St. Petersburg Cyril Bryzgalin reports the latest news from St. Petersburg Observatory Planetarium.

Category: Astronomy and Space

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