Changing Planet

Watch Asteroid Buzz Earth

Asteroid 2012 DA14 (streak at top center) is seen seven hours before its closest approach to Earth. Image courtesy Dave Herald, Murrumbateman, Australia
Asteroid 2012 DA14 (streak at top center) is seen seven hours before its closest approach to Earth. Image courtesy Dave Herald, Murrumbateman, Australia

This Friday asteroid 2012 DA14 will go down in the record books as the closest approach of an object of its size since astronomers began keeping records a few decades ago.

Zipping past our planet closer than most orbiting communication and weather satellites, this office building sized chunk of rock should be visible to some lucky skywatchers in the Eastern Hemisphere.

When the asteroid is at its closest at 19:24 UTC (2:24 p.m. EST/11:24 a.m. PST) it will be flying over the eastern Indian Ocean, off Sumatra (approx. latitude: -6 deg . South / longitude: 97.5 deg.  East), according to NASA.

Unfortunately for folks in the Western Hemisphere this means it will be daylight and so predictions are that the best chances of catching a view will be from places like Africa and Asia after local nightfall on the 15th.

According to Universe Today, the best views will be from western Indonesia and Australia  when the asteroid will be crossing the overhead sky in the hours before dawn, while folks in Australia and eastern Asia may see it gliding across the heavens much like a fast-moving satellite in the low eastern sky the morning of the 16th.

Although it technically should be bright enough to be easily seen with binoculars (magnitude 7.4), a small telescope is really your best hope. Looking a lot like a faint satellite, what will make hunting down DA14 so tricky, is the fact that it’s moving crazy fast across local skies- covering the moon disk’s width in less than a minute.

Check out this detailed sky chart to hunt down the speedy space rock.

For those of us in the wrong hemisphere, time zone or don’t have the right equipment – then check out great live-streaming web-casts of the encounter online.

NASA will have coverage using a telescope at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET on Friday. 

There will also be a video feed by Slooh Space Camera  from their telescopes on the Canary islands, off the west coast of Africa and in Arizona starting at 9 pm EST.

Twice the size of the space shuttle, asteroid DA14 will fly between the Earth and many orbiting communication satellites on Feb.15, 2013. Courtesy of JPL/NASA
Twice the size of the space shuttle, asteroid DA14 will fly between the Earth and many orbiting communication satellites on Feb.15, 2013. Courtesy of JPL/NASA
Andrew Fazekas, aka The Night Sky Guy, is a science writer, broadcaster, and lecturer who loves to share his passion for the wonders of the universe through all media. He is a regular contributor to National Geographic News and is the national cosmic correspondent for Canada’s Weather Network TV channel, space columnist for CBC Radio network, and a consultant for the Canadian Space Agency. As a member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Andrew has been observing the heavens from Montreal for over a quarter century and has never met a clear night sky he didn’t like.
  • Don Pippin

    This is probably a once in a life time event. I am 77 years old and I do not remember anything quiet as spectacular as this. I really hope NASA can give us a good video of it.

  • Paul Felix Schott



    Do a little History on this one.

    ALL Should Look Up “2012 DA14”.

    This could take out one of more satellites and the junk and debris from the hit could end up taking out many more satellites very soon after that. All the satellite collision probability will go way up if even one is hit. The velocity that the parts would go to would make them missiles that would start targeting a chain reaction this would not be good.

    Most all will be watching this one and pray it goes by us without a hit. Every Scientist alive will be watching this event. Many will be in Florida for a very special viewing of the once in a Lifetime Event. Professors, Scientist, World Leaders, Ham Radio Operators and Every Astronomer will have its eyes on This Event, along with almost every TV set on Earth.

    “2012 DA14” goes by Earth twice a year and there is no way anyone for sure, can tell how close the second pass will be till it passes by the Moon and Earth and the GRAVITATIONAL FORCE effect that it will have on this Asteroid.

    They may come close but this one is already coming very close to begin with. Too close this time or on its second or 3rd pass? Ad a Meteor Shower like the 13 and 14 of December of 2012, it might go through or bump into one of them? Or all the other more then 20,00 pieces of orbital debris like Spent Rocket Boosters left in space that can no longer be moved by a control center on Earth. Or add a Solar Flare. Or a Comet ISON or its tail debris of millions of rocks of all sizes. Not to for get the 30,000+ pieces of space junk left from China in 2007 from showing the world it could shoot a decommissioned weather satellite in Space. Now add Asteroid 2013 BV15 into this on the 13 &14 of Feb 2013..

    Feb will have 12 of them from the 12 to the 16.

    If a big enough Asteroid were to slam into the moon in the night sky you would think the sun was coming up early only it would be 5 to 7 times as bright. From The Sun’s Rays Reflection on all the Debris Field.

    2012 XM16, 2012 XM55, 2012 XP55, THERE ARE OVER 25 found just in the year 2012 that are part of the Near Earth Object Program that will come close to Earth from now till 2012 DA14 comes, Feb 14 – 16, 2013.

    You do not want to know how many are on the “PLANETARY DEFENSE” list.
    The PLANETARY DEFENSE is not to protect Earth from men from Mars.
    It is for all mankind with most all Nation in on it to stop if can most all collision with EARTH from a ASTEROID IMPACT. It is if you will a AVOIDANCE SHIELD. “N.E.O.S. Near Earth Object Shield”.

    If only one were to hit or IMPACT EARTH on land get ready for a winter you will never forget. The winter from 1883 -1884 KRAKATOA you will think was a little pebble, and now the stone comes. Krakatoa was a great mountain till it erupted with fire and a blast heard thousands of miles away that cast that Great Mountain into the sea. The Shock Waves were felt around the Globe. The sea was full of Bodies from the Tsunamis more then 35,000 of them, the sea stayed red for weeks. 1884 was a year without a summer as the year 1816 was and many world wide Froze to Death.

    A Shock Wave was felt in England from a Event about 7:15 to 7:20 A.M. Siberia time in the morning in June of the year 1908 high in the sky above the Forest in the remote wilderness of Tunguska Siberia heard an explosion that laid flat more than 800 square miles of the forest with all the trees pointing away from the center of the blast with most all the trees laying on their side. Some trees that were right below the blast were still there looking like telephone poles with no bark or branches left on them. This Asteroid did not even hit the Ground and this is known by most as the TUNGUSKA EVENT. For all that lived there it was WORMWOOD Rev 8:11 the wood became full of worms and the rivers water no longer sweet and undrinkable.

    If a Meteor Shower is big enough you might think all the Stars are falling from Heaven.

    About one every 100 years makes it into the Earth’s Atmosphere big enough for all to take note. Some make it to the surface the signs are all over the Planet and moon from the ones that have.

    If you need a visual sign of a collided impact with a planet look to

    “SHOEMAKER – LEVY 9” July 1994.

    You Need More Look up “PROJECT WORMWOOD” Revelations 8: 10 – 11 based on the “TUNGUSKA EVENT” 1908

    MOSCOW Russia is now saying it will use missiles to intercept Asteroid if need be.

    Better to be safe then sorry.


    Read your Bible
    While you still can,
    and May our Lord GOD Bless all that do so.
    John 14 : 6
    Luke 13 : 27
    Matthew 7 : 20 – 27

    Matthew 12:39

    Matthew 24:3 – 14

    The Lord’s Little Helper.
    Paul Felix Schott.

    December 2013 the Heavens above COMET “C/2012 S1”, “ISON”.

    The day will come when

    ALL ON EARTH WILL SEE THIS NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE. the night side of earth will become day and and day will be blinding bright. The Bow Shock from the Photo Electric Effect from the Sun’s Solar Wind will really be something.

    Shortly there after you will think the stars are falling from the Heavens,

    REV 6:13,

    REV 16:21

    most will be between 60 to 80 pounds that will make it to the ground surface. Nonstop 12 to 14 hours at a time for two days.

    Help others in are Lord’s name Jesus Christ help bring all to know him while you still can.
    Three kings that were wise men once flowed a star with a long tail 2,000 years ago. That lead them to Jesus Christ wise men still look to and hear are Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Brandon

    you people are talking about the asteroid going into the records
    you should all be turning back to god.this is what profits have been saying about this TIME!!READ THE BIBLE!!we are in the last times the profit daniel even said about this

  • Ima Ryma

    Mayans said a few months ago,
    All would be coming to an end.
    Fateful day came and ’twas not so.
    Now an asteroid does impend,
    Predicted it will just zip by,
    Closer than any tracked before,
    Might even see it in the sky –
    First of asteroids many more,
    Following on magnetic course,
    Not yet detected by Earthlings,
    But too soon will hit us in force.
    Time and space – Earth disaster brings.

    Maybe the Mayans missed on math.
    Earth – prepare for asteroid bath.

  • sukhpal

    hi please don’t let the astreoid let come near the eath because everyone is really scard and frightened about it. can you let the rocket do their work and make sure they break the astroid and let them save our world.

    so thank you bye

  • M. Oico

    To Brandon: I did not know that profits speak, I thought they were just numbers. To Paul Schott: You have too much time on your hands, your profits will decline if you spend too much time on this site. I know it is interesting reading material. Watching outside while I type, don’t want to get hit by that stuff, yikes. Then again no one would ever know if it did. My keyboard would just be sitting here untouched.

  • Justin

    When will people shut up about “the end of times”seriously, give it a rest. If we die by some cataclysmic event, it is what it is .

  • Max Colavecchia

    these comments are ABSOLUTELY ridiculous

  • Enrique

    if u stay in the AZ Tucson u will be safe cause my teacher said it will not hit Tucson and have no effect on tucson so if u live in tucson your safe and im safe;p

  • Mike Stickland

    Profits are when you make money. PROPHETS are the people who predict the future!
    As for the asteroid, nobody will be able to see it with the naked eye, and in a few hours it will be gone. Just get on with your lives!

  • Dave Tango


  • johnnyhamer

    So many dumb comments! Leave your Bible out of science. The world isn’t ending today, idiots.

  • Jennifer

    The Mayans didn’t say anything a few months ago. They also didn’t speak English or write rhyming poetry. :/

  • Koby

    Just hope that the Astroid isn’t so big to destroy the earth seriously.

  • bob fish

    Hope it lands in my garden …I been looking for a water feature for the rockery..

  • Andrew Grant

    Fabulous stuff! all very exciting and im so glad i have had the chance to witness this amazing event. Shame the religious loons always seem to get in on the act doing what they do best.. …spreading fear . ( yawn)

  • carol muldoon

    how cum the meteor that hit russia wasnt seen so ppl were aware of wot was cummin and lets hope ur right about this astroid not doin any harm x

  • Scott

    Get a grip people.get a life.

  • Rangemaster

    to Brandon, As far as I know Daniel is not a prophet he is a vendor making profit.

  • don

    Why do the bible nuts come out when ever their is a natural occurrence?

  • Rick Gilhousen

    Don Pippin your right just in joy it and watch it play out thanks Don for finally a down to earth comment .

  • Chicken Little

    The sky is falling, the sky is falling! Where is Harry Stamper when you need him?…

  • B Glen

    The sky is falling!..the sky is falling!!…run!..for your lives!
    Yours Truly, Chicken Little.

  • ixthus12

    Can’t leave the Bible out of Science. The God of the Bible is the Creator of all things. Hope you don’t wait till it’s too late to find that out.

  • Nate

    Please let this land on me, so I don’t have to be read comments like these anymore…

  • keekee

    I hope the alright in russia . …… For other rediculous comments please get positve today cause your life can be taken at any time!!!!!



  • Dangalang

    I’ve a suggestion – learn to swim.

  • Smoove

    Based on the (lack of) intelligence displayed in many of these comments wiping out Earth would be doing the rest of the universe a favor! Cleaning out the celestial gene pool, if you will.

  • stuart

    i saw the one yesturday i could not beleave it at aprox 12:20 ish last night it looked like a line of flame .

  • PhiiNom

    I’m glad there are so many religious fanatics out here. because they are so reliable even the pope quit.

  • Lillie

    I am so scared it may kill my relatives!!! ! Oh no I have just had a text saying one of them have already died I’m so sad

  • zap

    to brandon wy would the bible have enething to do with this.

  • Lucille Baller

    How can you tell which side of the Earf is right or left? And why’s everybody gotta be so ugly to each other on here? Get some body to give you a hug or something.

  • Mary Alice

    Always the bible thumpers coming in saying “this is gods plan! This is what they were talking about!” Ummm. NO. The asteroid is not going to hit. Plus im not even christian or religious and I know for a fact your “God” said he wasnt going to destroy the earth. Besides the point, the earth is not ending so get the hell over it.

  • tiffany

    Could the nuclear testing in north Korea be causing such a disturbance in the atmosphere to cause this?

  • Agnostic

    Paul Felix Schott – You’re a fool

    I’ll bet you believed Harold Camping too…

  • S Lnd

    Lets all sing along…


  • Eric Lowe

    Hey getch yur meteor helmets, right here! Get em for it’s too late. Guarenteed!!! It it doesn’t work I’ll give your money back!

  • prasad

    thats the great in nasa

  • HUI

    i wish i could see the astoide

  • HUI

    its amazing i do not belive the world will end but god said there will be wonders in the sky

  • Mike

    We are living on a planet that is not bullet proof. The galaxy is a shooting range and we are in it. Prolly will never see it again in my life time. Or at least I hope not. Get your telescopes out and look at the moon. Its been pounded plenty.

  • steve g richko

    Blame it on Obama !

  • Tanamon Somchana

    Mayans said a few months ago,
    All would be coming to an end.
    I’re disagree with this idea.

  • rudeelmo

    If a space object hits this speck in the universe we call Earth, and wipes out what we call every living thing, then so be it. It’s awesome we have developed our species to a level where we not only believe we know how large an object to look for, but may also have ideas on how to keep it away from us. Yes… maybe Russia experienced a wakeup call. This happens everyday, just this one did some damage. How many people have died from meteors compared to wars? I think we have bigger fish to fry.

  • Glen

    Read the comments. Most of them indicated people can’t spell any better than they can think or use logic. Extinction of humans at this point would be a relief.

  • hood

    Dear Mr Schott,

    If an asteroid hits the ocean, will giant prehistoric sharks be swept up from their deepwater hiding spots to ride in the resulting catastrophic tidal wave like bloody-toothed, flesh eating surfers?

  • Bill Burchett

    I bet when nasa announces that a mile wide asteroid has its sights on earth there will be a mass come to Jesus all over this planet. God never has destroyed the planet but he did shed it of a stiff necked people once, who thought they knew it all, but this time will be much worse. If you don’t fear God your a fool, read the Bible. He has prepared a place for all who will call on his name and turn from their ignorant prideful ways and be healed.

    What’s the matter with you people, are you gonna fall into the hands of satan after this life?

    The Bible says to watch and be ready for the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. I bet there were lots of folks standing around the Ark while Noah was working to build it making snide remarks about doomsayers and the such. I bet they had a different attitude when it all came down.

  • john m

    why can you spot asteroids, but can’t see ufo’s, or don’t report ufo’s?

  • john m

    why can you see asteroids and track them but can not see ufo’s or don’t report them?

  • James Macri

    You have a better chance of being killed by the obama administration trying to steal your guns than anything from space.

  • Fall of a Thousand Suns

    Comet ISON hopefully will resurrect an interest in space and make people conscious of how much light pollution has destroyed their view of the universe.

    Eventually, something big will hit the planet and I don’t think it will take as long as everyone thinks. Scientists have found several larger impacts in recent history. Comets and asteroids impacting or buzzing planets aren’t just meant for other planets (SL-9 in 1994 and Siding Spring in 2014). That’s within the last 20 years.

    Check out for more info.

  • polyimide glass

    Amazing issues here. I am very happy to peer your article. Thank you so much and I am looking ahead to contact you. Will you kindly drop me a mail?

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