An asteroid of the same class as one that allegedly detonated over Tunguska River in 1908 will pass by Earth next year, flying closer than some man-made satellites, according to NASA.
The asteroid, 2012 DA14, will miss the planet by 26,900 kilometers on February 15, 2013, which is closer than satellites in the geostationary orbit of 35,700 kilometers, according to data on NASA’s website published Sunday.
The asteroid, first detected by the Spanish Observatorio Astronomico de La Sagra, is between 40 and 95 meters in diameter and belongs to Apollo group of near-Earth asteroids, many of which are potential collision hazards.
Astronomer groups around the world are continuing monitoring 2012 DA14 to determine its size and trajectory.
The estimated size of 2012 DA14 places it in the same category as the celestial body that, scientists say, exploded over western Siberia in 1908.
Though many theories exist concerning the event on Podkamennaya Tunsguska River…
Tthe leading explanation is a space body over 50 meters in size blew up in the atmosphere, the blast being at least 1,000 more powerful than the nuclear bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945.
Based on its velocity relative to Earth and its estimated mass, it would deliver about 3 megatons of energy, comparable to a small hydrogen bomb.
This…is actually good news, as the Earth is mostly uninhabited. (It just seems crowded because most people live in cities.) It is not a planet killer.
Now … for the bad news. It is an Earth hugging Apollo family member with a period of 366 days.
I might as well be the first to post this: We can look forward to a close encounter every year from now until the end of its career.