NASA: Mid-Size Asteroid Won't Hit Earth In 2013 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

NASA: Mid-Size Asteroid Won't Hit Earth In 2013

NASA Says An Asteroid Will Come 'Uncomfortably' Close To Earth (Photo: NASA/JPL Near-Earth Object Program Office) NASA Says An Asteroid Will Come 'Uncomfortably' Close To Earth (Photo: NASA/JPL Near-Earth Object Program Office)
MSNBC -

Despite feverish speculation from doomsayers, the near-Earth asteroid 2012 DA14 won't slam into our planet next year, NASA researchers say.

The asteroid, which astronomers estimate to be about 150 feet across, will give Earth an uncomfortably close shave on Feb. 15, 2013, coming nearer to our planet than the satellites we've lofted to geostationary orbit. But 2012 DA14 poses no real impact danger on that pass, according to NASA scientists.

"Its orbit about the sun can bring it no closer to the Earth's surface than 3.2 Earth radii on February 15, 2013," researchers with the Near-Earth Object Program Office, at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., wrote in an update March. 6.

One Earth radius is roughly 3,963 miles at the equator. So by this reckoning, the nearest 2012 DA14 can get to us next year is 12,680 miles.

For comparison, satellites in geosynchronous orbit circle our planet at an altitude of 22,245 miles. Other satellites orbit much lower. The International Space Station, for example, flies at around 240 miles above the planet.

2012 DA14 was discovered late last month by astronomers at the La Sagra Observatory in southern Spain. Its path around the sun is roughly similar to that of Earth, and it makes relatively close approaches to our planet twice per orbit.

Calculations show that the space rock came within about 1.5 million miles this past Feb. 16, or about six times the distance from Earth to the moon.

Next February's much closer encounter has ignited something of a media firestorm, with various outlets publishing stories with headlines such as "Incoming! Asteroid 2012 DA14" and "Tunguska-Sized Asteroid Homing on Earth."

This latter article is referring to the 1908 "Tunguska event," in which a comet or meteoroid exploded above the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in Siberia, flattening about 500,000 acres of forest.

While 2012 DA14 won't slam into us next February, humanity needs to remain vigilant against the asteroid threat, many researchers say. Huge impacts are a part of our planet's history, after all; one wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, and it's just a matter of time before another big space rock lines Earth up in its sights, astronomers say. 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Two injured in Montana after swerving to avoid a kangaroo -- Really

    Two injured in Montana after swerving to avoid a kangaroo -- Really

    Thursday, June 21 2018 12:46 PM EDT2018-06-21 16:46:44 GMT
    File photo of a kangarooFile photo of a kangaroo

    DODSON, Mont. - Two people were injured in Montana Wednesday morning after swerving to avoid a kangaroo on the road.  Trooper Matt Finley with the Montana Highway Patrol said he thought it was a joke when he responded to the call, but when he arrived at about 4 a.m. he saw the kangaroo.  Trooper Finley said he learned there is a kangaroo farm west of Dodson. 

    >>

    DODSON, Mont. - Two people were injured in Montana Wednesday morning after swerving to avoid a kangaroo on the road.  Trooper Matt Finley with the Montana Highway Patrol said he thought it was a joke when he responded to the call, but when he arrived at about 4 a.m. he saw the kangaroo.  Trooper Finley said he learned there is a kangaroo farm west of Dodson. 

    >>
  • Puyallup woman pleads guilty to defrauding $290K from Costco

    Puyallup woman pleads guilty to defrauding $290K from Costco

    Thursday, June 21 2018 12:56 AM EDT2018-06-21 04:56:03 GMT
    Puyallup woman pleads guilty to defrauding $290K from CostcoPuyallup woman pleads guilty to defrauding $290K from Costco
    Federal officials say further testing was unable to confirm the presence of E. coli in the onions and celery used to make chicken salad at Costco warehouses across the country.Federal officials say further testing was unable to confirm the presence of E. coli in the onions and celery used to make chicken salad at Costco warehouses across the country.

    TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - A Washington state woman has pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $290,000 from a Costco warehouse over five years. The News Tribune reports 54-year-old Robin Cline pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in Tacoma to charges of wire fraud.  Cline of Puyallup worked at Costco in Fife from 1996 to 2016 as an accounts receivable clerk. She was responsible for processing payments and refunds for customers of the warehouse club operator. Accordi...

    >>

    TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - A Washington state woman has pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $290,000 from a Costco warehouse over five years. The News Tribune reports 54-year-old Robin Cline pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in Tacoma to charges of wire fraud.  Cline of Puyallup worked at Costco in Fife from 1996 to 2016 as an accounts receivable clerk. She was responsible for processing payments and refunds for customers of the warehouse club operator. Accordi...

    >>
  • Spokane business owner fed up with feces, unwanted surprise at work

    Spokane business owner fed up with feces, unwanted surprise at work

    Thursday, June 21 2018 2:32 AM EDT2018-06-21 06:32:06 GMT

    A Spokane business owner says enough is enough after finding human feces in front of her doorstep three days in a row. The incidences happened at Neat Old Stuff located at 3rd and Bernard. The shop's owner, CP Phare, has been in the same location for the last decade and says suspicious activity has ramped up in the last year, but nothing like what's been happening over the last few days. "There's like surprise packages usually two-to-three times a week," 

    >>

    A Spokane business owner says enough is enough after finding human feces in front of her doorstep three days in a row. The incidences happened at Neat Old Stuff located at 3rd and Bernard. The shop's owner, CP Phare, has been in the same location for the last decade and says suspicious activity has ramped up in the last year, but nothing like what's been happening over the last few days. "There's like surprise packages usually two-to-three times a week," 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/