NASA and other space agencies around the world are always on the lookout for giant asteroids headed towards the Earth. NASA recently reported that a gigantic and very fast asteroid will zip past the Earth on February 15. The asteroid is called 2012 DA14.
The massive asteroid weighs approximately 143,000 tons and measures 148 feet long. That means that the asteroid is roughly half the size of a football field. According to scientists Don Yeoman this massive asteroid is similar to the one believed to have leveled hundreds of square miles of Siberian forest back in 1908.
That massive impact is called the “Tunguska Event.” According to NASA, this particular asteroid will pass harmlessly by the Earth. However, on a cosmic scale it is passing quite close to our planet. NASA estimates the asteroid will pass 17,200 miles above the earth.
The asteroid flyby will be close enough that skywatchers with a decent backyard telescope should be able to view the asteroid says NASA. However, the speed of the asteroid will make it hard to track with NASA saying that it will move twice the width of the moon across the sky for every minute that it’s visible.
[via USA Today]