View Full Version : NEO Asteroid - Close Passage - Feb 15

2012-Dec-18, 08:39 AM
NEO asteroid 2012 DA14 is expected to pass 30,000 to 40,000 km from Earth’s center on 2013 FEB 15. Its peak brightness may be between magnitude 7 and 8.

Italian Professor Aldo Vitagliano gave me some data on the 45-meter rock to put into my copy of his Solex numerical integration program. With its output and my self-made graphics software, I've created a view of the orbits of the asteroid and Earth from far north of the ecliptic plane. Do understand that the data is preliminary and subject to adjustment. Nevertheless, it's obvious that the orbit switches from one with a longer major axis than Earth's to a shorter one after close passage. The diagram can be seen at: www.CurtRenz.com/asteroids

2012-Dec-20, 12:31 AM
I’ve drawn a map that plots the locations on Earth where NEO 2012 DA14 will appear in the zenith as it zooms by our planet: www.CurtRenz.com/asteroids

Book your cruise to Sumatra now while ship cabins are still available. ;)

I’ll remind everyone that predictions may be adjusted a bit during the coming weeks, but the little asteroid will not slam into the Earth.

2013-Jan-11, 09:25 PM
Asteroid 2012 DA14 has been recovered and new parameters have been determined. Last night I e-mailed Italian professor Aldo Vitagliano, the creator of the Solex astronomical numerical integration program. This morning he sent me the newly updated vectors of the 45-meter asteroid for inclusion in Solex.

His new nominal solution indicates that the closest approach to the Earth’s center will occur at exactly the same time as the previous best estimate: 2013 FEB 15 at 19:25:49 TD (19:24:42 UT). However, the distance to the Earth’s center at that time is now estimated to be 34,112 km rather than the earlier estimate of 34,373 km. The point on Earth where the asteroid will be in the zenith at that time is in the Indian Ocean west of Sumatra at E 96.595° & S 6.238°. The previous estimate was E 97.153° & S 6.360°.

In both cases, the estimated greatest brilliance for the point on Earth closest to the asteroid is magnitude +7.0. Interestingly, both the current and previous estimates for Perth, Australia at the moment of closest approach to the Earth’s center are magnitude +6.9. Even though Perth will be a little further from the asteroid, from Perth’s perspective the asteroid will be nearer to opposition from the Sun which increases the illumination.

Aldo notes that while the new parameters are hardly different from the previous ones, the uncertainties have been dramatically reduced. He says that the chance of an impact with Earth in 2040 is now zero. He indicates that another close approach without impact will occur in 2046.

I've updated my related graphics at: www.CurtRenz.com/asteroids