NASA calls it a “small near-Earth asteroid.”
And though “2012 DA14” will come within about 17,000 miles of our planet and be closer than some satellites, the space agency assures everyone that “there is no chance that the asteroid might be on a collision course with Earth.”
Still, if what we read about this rock and our calculations are correct, the asteroid that comes whizzing by around 2:24 p.m. ET on Friday:
Nell Greenfieldboyce, for the NPR Newscast
— Will be traveling at 17,000 miles per hour.
— Will be about 150 feet across. NPR’s Nell Greenfieldboyce compares it to a small office building.
— Will be about the same weight as 318 fully loaded Boeing 747s.
— Will set a record for “close[st] approach for a known object of this size,” according to NASA.
So, if somebody’s miscalculated it’s path …
Let’s just not go there.
Though, if you really want to calculate what an asteroid like that would do to the planet if it did hit, Purdue University has a handy “Impact Earth” calculator.
Oh, and sorry folks in the U.S. You won’t be able to see it. (We hope.)
- August 31, 2015- President Barack Obama touched down in Alaska Monday for a three-day tour to the state, and beyond focusing on climate change in visits to Anchorage, Dillingham, and Kotzebue, the president began his trip by restoring the Koyukon Athabascan name to North America’s highest mountain.
- August 31, 2015- The president, secretary of state and leaders from around the world are in Anchorage to discuss climate change.
- August 31, 2015- President Barack Obama’s visit to Alaska this week, aimed at highlighting his push to fight climate change, comes just two weeks after his administration approved drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean.
- August 30, 2015- He's giving the mountain its Koyukon Athabascan name on the eve of a historic presidential visit to Alaska.