Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Did You See 2012 DA14? Asteroid to Whizpast Earth at Aclose 27,000kmand You Can Seeit with Binoculars

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Did You See 2012 DA14? Asteroid to Whizpast Earth at Aclose 27,000kmand You Can Seeit with Binoculars

Article excerpt

Byline: Geoff Egan geoff.egan@qt.com.au

IF YOUaRE reading this after 6.30am, Earth has dodged a bullet, by a couple of thousand kilometres.

If you happen to be reading The QT before that time, grab your binoculars and look out the window.

An asteroid, dubbed 2012 DA14, has flown past Earth at a distance of 27,000km, closer than some high-orbiting satellites and more than 10 times closer than the moon this morning.

Measuring 45m across, but with an estimated mass of 130,000 tonnes, it would only have been visible with a telescope or binoculars, but is one of the largest asteroids to come this close to Earth, says NASA.

However, other asteroids, much larger, have crashed into Earth in the past.

Australasian Science Magazine astronomer Dave Reneke said the asteroid was being tracked by astronomers across the planet.

aObjects this size come close to Earth roughly every 30 years or so,a he said.

For the early birds, Mr Reneke said, the asteroid could be seen just below the Southern Cross from 4. …

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