(NASA VIDEO) DA14 Asteroid to Miss Earth by 17,200 Miles; Meteor Injures Russians
Friday's DA14 asteroid will miss Earth by '15 minutes,' according to TV scientist Bill Nye. An overnight meteor in Russia was nearly 7,000 miles from Fridley.
The Twin Cities is thousands of miles from Friday's meteor in Russia and the near-miss DA14 asteroid.
On Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass within 17,200 miles—or 15 minutes—of Earth, according to TV scientist Bill Nye (click first YouTube thumbnail).
A separate meteor entering the Earth's atmosphere over Russia early Friday sent shockwaves that injured more than 1,000 people in the Ural Mountains area, the New York Times reported. The biggest city in the region, Chelyabinsk, is about 6,800 miles from the Twin Cities (click second YouTube thumbnail).
Nye said it is comparable in size to the one responsible for the 1908 Tunguska event, but is expected to pass harmlessly by, Nye said it is a very close shave relatively speaking.
"This one will miss us by about 15 minutes," Nye explained. "Fifteen minutes difference and that's it."
If it were not for those 15 minutes, life for millions of people could end.
"If such a meteor were to hit Atlanta or New York City or Boston, that would be it for those municipalities," Nye said. As much as 1,200 square miles would be destroyed, Nye added.
According to Nye, there are approximately 100,000 "Earth-crossing" asteroids and, for the first time in human history, the possibility exists that something could be done should one threaten Earth.
"It is something that we as humans all over the world ought to get involved in," he said.
NASA Television will provide commentary from Pasadena-based JPL starting at 11 a.m. Friday during the asteroid’s nearby flight and the half-hour broadcast will also include live or near real-time views of the asteroid from Australia observatories, weather permitting, JPL noted.
Watch the Asteroid Via NASA
Near real-time imagery of the asteroid's flyby in Australia and Europe, weather permitting, will be streamed beginning at about 11 a.m. CST and continuing through the afternoon.
Or watch a feed of the flyby from a telescope at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama starting at 4 p.m. CST.
Researchers at NASA and elsewhere will be using the flyby as a chance to study a near-Earth object up close in an effort to understand our solar system’s origins, among other things, NASA noted.