Indiana News

Asteroid to Pass by Earth Very Closely

2/6/2013


(image courtesy NASA.gov)

An asteroid will pass close to the Earth on February 15th.

Listen:

The asteroid is called 2012 DA-14 and will pass by our planet about 18-thousand miles from the earth's surface.  That's about 15 times closer to the earth than the moon.  Brian Murphy with the Holcomb Observatory at Butler University says there are probably about a million of these asteroids of the same size or larger.

Murphy says we haven't found all of these asteroids but as time goes on, we'll find more and more of them.  He says finding them in advance will help us be able to take care of them if they get dangerously close to the earth.  Murphy says if they're far enough away, we can give them a 'nudge' with an atomic bomb or a missile that will send them off course and away from our planet.

Murphy says because this is a near earth asteroid, it will pass by us again in a few decades.  He says we probably won't see it here in the U.S. but those in Eastern Europe and Australia may get a good look at it.

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