NASA: asteroid fragments may fall anywhere (pathway infographics)

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Its weight is
about 130 thousand tons, the average speed is 31 kilometers per second. It will
fly at a minimum distance to the Earth - 27 700 km – on February 15 at 10 p.m..
This distance is approximately equal to two radius of the planet.

For comparison,
communications satellites in geostationary orbits fly at an altitude of 35 800
kilometers. Binoculars or a telescope will be needed to look at the asteroid.
Depending on the weather, it will be visible from parts of Europe, Africa and
Asia. The asteroid will move relatively quickly across the sky from south to
north.

This is the closest
approach of the asteroid to the Earth in decades. The next close approach will
be on February 15, 2046, when the asteroid will fly at a distance of 1 million
kilometers.

At the time of the closest
approach to the Earth the asteroid will be over the eastern part of the Indian
Ocean near the coast of Sumatra.

A
lot of small fragments can accompany the asteroid. They can be brought to the
planet and fall anywhere. The falling of the asteroid itself is impossible, say
NASA experts.

Since 1990, astronomers
have never seen such a large object flying so close to the Earth.

NASA
scientists believe that there are about 500 thousand near-Earth asteroids of
the size of 2012 DA14. Less than 1 percent of them are known. Asteroid 2012
DA14 was first detected in an astronomical observatory in Mallorca in Spain on
February 23, 2012. NASA scientists give an estimate that an asteroid of this
size will fly close to the Earth every 40 years on average, and collide with it
every 1,200 years.

There’s
very little chance that the asteroid will collide with some satellite. After
all, there are almost no satellites in its way.

By
the way, if such an asteroid collided with the Earth, it would release 2.5
megatons of energy in the atmosphere, which would lead to regional devastation.
The consequences of such collision are comparable to the Tunguska meteorite,
but its impact was slightly less than of 2012 DA14.

NASA will chronicle the
asteroid flight live on NASA TV, starting at 22 p.m., Belarusian-time, when
the asteroid gets the closest to the Earth. The broadcast from the ISS
has already started.

 

 

 

According to the materials of NASA