After the meteorite that struck Russia this morning, a 45-meter wide asteroid known as “2012 DA14“, will pass within 20,000 miles of Earth, which is well within range of many Earth-orbiting satellites and about 1/12th of the way to the Moon. Painting of Asteroid 2012 DA14. Image © David A. Hardy
While scientists don’t expect a collision with Earth, it could make for some fantastic skywatching in certain parts of the world.
According to NASA:
“Earth is bombarded with more than 100 tons of dust and sand-sized particles every day.
Roughly every 2,000 years a meteorite the size of a football field hits, and can cause significant damage.
Only once every few million years, an object large enough to threaten Earth’s civilization comes along.”
To capture the event, AGI aerospace engineers have used the Systems Tool Kit(STK) software to create the animation: