The asteroid named DA14 is to pass near earth today. And when experts say “near”, they mean about 17,200 miles from our planet. According to them, it poses no danger and three decades ago, it would have not even been detected.
Whenever astronomers report the entrance of an asteroid on our planet’s orbit, people’s hearts start racing. This time, like many other times, there are no threats to our safety. Not only that, but we won’t even get the satisfaction of seeing it. In telescopes, DA14 looks like a small bright dot.
Michael Busch, a planetary astronomer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Socorro, N.M. says that a rock this size would have gone unnoticed thirty years ago. The reports only indicate that such an asteroid has been detected. DA14 is impossible to be seen with the naked eye and, although it will pass inside the orbit of communication satellites, the interference will be none.
Busch explains that asteroids the size of DA14 pass this close to earth every 10 to 20 years. He adds that “close to Earth” in astronomers’ language means within 50 million kilometers, or 31 million miles. Also, he ensures that of the 95% of the largest NEOs (Near Earth Objects) spotted and mapped so far, none is posing real collision danger to our planet.