Did you see it?
About an hour ago, asteroid 2012 DA14 made a very close – 27,600Km – approach to Earth.
Asteroid DA14 is ~45metres across, weighs ~190,000 metric tonnes and is travelling at ~28,000km/h. If it were to hit the Earth (which it won’t) it would produce a blast equivalent to a 3 Megaton nuclear weapon (information thanks to Nardia Bordas at Edith Cowan University, Western Australia).
Unless you were set up with your super-dooper telescope, it actually would have been impossible to view. Luckily, NASA TV footage is screening the asteroid’s path past Australia, available here. This film was recorded in Western Australia’s Gingin Observatory, with the guidance of Rick Tonello (Edith Cowan University School of Natural Science Astronomy lecturer, and Director at Astronomy Education Services).
[image thanks to Josh Parish on flickr]