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 Post subject: "Near miss" with 2012 DA14 on 15-Feb
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:01 pm 
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As mentioned at Tuesday's meeting, a near-Earth asteroid will be making a close pass of Earth on the 15th. According to NASA:
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Discovered by the LaSagra observatory in southern Spain, the small asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass within about 3.5 Earth radii of the Earth's surface on February 15, 2013. Although its size is not well determined, this near-Earth asteroid is thought to be about 45 metres in diameter.
Its orbit about the Sun can bring it no closer to the Earth's surface than 3.2 Earth radii on February 15, 2013. On this date, the asteroid will travel rapidly from the southern evening sky into the northern morning sky with its closest Earth approach occurring about 19:26 UTC when it will achieve a magnitude of less than seven, which is somewhat fainter than naked eye visibility. About 4 minutes after its Earth close approach, there is a good chance it will pass into the Earth's shadow for about 18 minutes or so before reappearing from the eclipse. When traveling rapidly into the northern morning sky, 2012 DA14 will quickly fade in brightness.


Here's a chart showing its predicted path through the sky at 15-min intervals:
http://www.virtualtelescope.eu/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/2012da14_geocentricmap.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: "Near miss" with 2012 DA14 on 15-Feb
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:06 am 
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In the unlikely event that it isn't cloudy tomorrow evening, it would be worth taking some long-exposure images of the Ursa Major area.

But at some point it may pass into the Earth's shadow, and so become invisible!


Last edited by rwilkinson on Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: "Near miss" with 2012 DA14 on 15-Feb
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:18 pm 
I'm confused by your timings. In the video you made, it shows it in the Plough at about 19:20. I see the same behaviour in Stellarium.

The virtualtelescope.eu link in your previous post shows it there at 21:30.

I found the following pdf: http://www.britastro.org/~rmiles/Documents/2012DA14.pdf. This also shows 21:30. This chart is for the South of England but there can't be a 2 hour difference can there?

From what I found on Google, it seems that most basic planetarium software doesn't handle very near earth objects very well since it doesn't take Earth's gravity into account.


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 Post subject: Re: "Near miss" with 2012 DA14 on 15-Feb
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:24 pm 
Just checked HA.com for Bolton.

http://www.heavens-above.com/2012da14.a ... =76&tz=GMT

Still near Leo at 20:00 and the Plough at 21:30


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 Post subject: Re: "Near miss" with 2012 DA14 on 15-Feb
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:49 am 
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AWalmsley wrote:
In the video you made, it shows it in the Plough at about 19:20. I see the same behaviour in Stellarium.
it seems that most basic planetarium software doesn't take Earth's gravity into account.


Good spot Antony, I'd overlooked that. But that illustrates well just how close it will be tonight - almost as if it's orbiting the Earth rather than the Sun for a few hours!
So you're right and the later time is correct - which is good news for me, as The Plough should be clear of my trees by the time of the fly-by.


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 Post subject: Re: "Near miss" with 2012 DA14 on 15-Feb
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:00 pm 
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Did anyone actually manage to detect it? I took a whole series of 1-min images, but can't find any trace of it on them:
http://www.boltonastro.co.uk/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=85


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 Post subject: Re: "Near miss" with 2012 DA14 on 15-Feb
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:07 pm 
Yes, Andy and I managed to catch it but I need to process the image yet and my laptop power lead is broken so keep your eyes on the gallery over the next few days


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 Post subject: Re: "Near miss" with 2012 DA14 on 15-Feb
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:14 pm 
There is a nice video on today's Apod

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html


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 Post subject: Re: "Near miss" with 2012 DA14 on 15-Feb
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:04 am 
Fantastic video of asteroid flyby including meteors and satellites here:
http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronom ... video.html


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