12 February 2013, Tuesday, 14:51

Inhabitants of Bashkiria will be able to see an asteroid

author: Lyudmila Ternovaya

At night from February 15 to 16, about from 1 a.m. till 6 a.m. inhabitants of the republic will be able to observe an asteroid passing the Earth. The asteroid 2012 DA14 with a mass of 130 thousand tons at the speed of 7,8 km per second will pass very close to the Earth — at the distance of 27700 km from the Earth surface. The space visitor will be closer to the Earth than geostationary satellites, which fly at heights of about 35800 km.

Till now not a single asteroid of such size approached to the Earth closer than 120 thousand kilometres.

The maximum proximity of the asteroid with the Earth is on February 16 at 01:24, Ufa time. At the moment of the greatest proximity the asteroid will be observed over east part of the Indian Ocean, over the coast of Sumatra. In spite of the fact that it will pass close enough from the Earth, during the maximum approach its brightness will reach only +7,3 magnitude, so it will not be visible to the naked eye. At least a powerful binocular is necessary for viewing.

The passage of 2012 DA14 will be visible from all the territory of Russia — from the southeast to the north from Crater constellation towards the North Star. The Ufa planetarium employees will observe the asteroid through the telescope.