Skip to main content

Asteroid 2012 DA14 Photos: Earth Flyby of Feb. 15, 2013

Asteroid 2012 DA14 as Imaged by ESA

ESA/La Sagra Sky Survey

Current predictions indicate that on its next flyby, due on Feb. 15, 2013, it will pass Earth at just 24 000 km – closer than many commercial satellites.

Threading the Satellite Needle: Asteroid 2012 DA14

SPACE.com

This graphic is an illustration of how the asteroid 2012 DA14 will fly between Earth and the constellation of geosynchronous satellites on Feb. 15, 2013, when the asteroid flies within 17,200 miles of the planet.

Asteroid 2012 DA14 Size vs. Shuttle

Science@NASA

This NASA graphic shows the size of asteroid 2012 DA14 as it compares to a NASA space shuttle. The asteroid is about 164 feet (50 meters) across.

Size of Asteroid 2012 DA14

Science@NASA

This NASA graphic depicts the size of asteroid 2012 DA14, a 164-foot (50 meters) space rock. It will fly extremely close to Earth on Feb. 15, 2013, coming within 17,200 miles of the planet.

Orbit Diagram for Asteroid 2012 DA14

NASA/JPL Near-Earth Object Program Office

In this oblique view, the path of near-Earth asteroid 2012 DA14 is seen passing close to Earth on Feb. 15, 2013.

Asteroid 2012 DA14 Close Approach

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Graphic depicts the trajectory of asteroid 2012 DA14 during its close approach, as seen edge-on to Earth's equatorial plane. The graphic demonstrates why the asteroid is invisible to northern hemisphere observers until just before close approach: it is approaching from "underneath" our planet. On the other hand, after close approach it will be favorably placed for observers in the northern hemisphere.

Asteroid 2012 DA14 Viewing: Europe and Asia

NASA/JPL

This NASA map shows the locations in Eastern Europe, Asia and Australia, where the asteroid 2012 DA14 may be visible in telescopes during its close Earth flyby on Feb. 15, 2013.

Asteroid 2012 DA14 Viewing Maps: U.S.

NASA/JPL

This still from a NASA video depicts the area of North America where asteroid 2012 DA14 may be visible in amateur astronomers' telescopes at 7 p.m. EST and 10 p.m. EST on Feb. 15, 2013. The asteroid will be faint and fast, making it hard to spot for even veteran stargazers.

Asteroid 2012 DA14: S-Type Space Rock

SPACE.com

Asteroid 2012 DA14 is about half the size of a football field and is an S-type asteroid, meaning it is made of silicate material.

Asteroid 2012 DA14 Brightness

Science@NASA

This NASA chart shows how bright asteroid 2012 DA14 will appear, as compared to other night sky objects, when it zooms within 17,200 miles of Earth on Feb. 15, 2013.

Trajectory of Asteroid 2012 DA14 on Feb 15, 2013

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Graphic depicts the trajectory of asteroid 2012 DA14 on Feb 15, 2013. In this view, we are looking down from above Earth's north pole.

Tariq Malik

SPACE.COM EDITOR IN CHIEF — Tariq joined the Space.com team in 2001 as a staff writer, and later editor, covering human spaceflight, exploration and space science. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Google+, Twitter and on Facebook.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.