Vancouver, Canada, November 12, 2012 – NASA has predicted that in less than three months a potentially killer asteroid of historical proportions might pass Earth. This particular asteroid will come so close to Earth scientists have yet to determine with 100% certainty it won’t collide with Earth. What is known by NASA is that the asteroid is definitely headed towards Earth with an arrival time pegged at approximately February 15, 2013. One previously unknown factor is scientists have never witnessed an event on this scale and magnitude so there will be a steep learning curve as it approaches.
Present calculations predict a trajectory of within 20,000 miles of earth. Labeled 2012-DA14 it is an estimated 197 feet across and most likely tips the scale at just under 150,000 tons, depending on which elements and constituents it is comprised of. It could be made up metals such as iron or nickel or many other possible combinations of elements and metals so the actual weight is hard to estimate but in this case size does matter. It is pure conjecture at this point whether or not the predicted path is 100% accurate. Although DA14′s appearance has not been publicized in major newspapers or media outlets this asteroid could be the most significant outer-space based event of our lifetime and has the potential to kill millions of people if its predicted path is altered by earth’s gravity and is pulled into our atmosphere.
One thing is known for sure, we will see DA14 come within the boundary of our geostationary satellites. Geostationary satellites are the ones we aim our satellites dishes at, for TV and Internet access. These satellites keep in time with Earth’s rotation allowing us to receive and transmit 24/7 and 365 days a year. These satellites are parked above our heads in a circular orbit of 22,236 miles (35,786 kilometres) above the Earth’s equator and follow the direction of the Earth’s rotation, there are many of them and they keep in time with any given location above the Earth.
To show how serious an event this is, the moon is 239,000 miles from earth (384,000 km). Some calculations place DA14 coming as close as 16,000 miles, but it doesn’t matter if it is 16,000 miles or 20,000 miles (the outside estimate), the distances are all within the range inhabited by geostationary satellites, even conservative estimates show it could wipe out many geostationary satellites if they are not moved to avoid the collision. These are the satellites we use for telecommunications, internet , TV and most probably locations used for many U.S. military assets.
To give you an idea how close a shave this will be, the asteroid will come within 8.3% of the distance between us and the moon. 8.3% between life and death on our Earth. Also, the largest and brightest “shooting star” you have ever seen on a clear night is the about the size of a kitchen refrigerator or a little bigger. DA14 is 197 feet across.
If you were to take an impromptu survey on any street in North America chances are that 99.99% of people surveyed will never have heard of 2012-DA14 but DA14 could change many millions of people’s lives forever if it is pulled into our atmosphere by Earth’s gravity. It will be an interesting event to watch and monitor no matter what the outcome. It is what most people would call a “dry run” for an event like this which will occur with 100% certainty in our future.