The small near-Earth asteroid 2012 DA14's flyby on Friday may be one for the record books, and there are many ways to watch it online. NASA and several others have set up a live stream to watch the asteroid fly by Earth. (Scroll down for more videos.)
As previously reported on IBTimes, asteroid 2012 DA14 measures 150 feet in diameter and its orbit will have it pass just 17,200 miles above the Earth’s surface. In comparison, many manmade satellites orbit at 22,000 miles. Slooh, which calls itself “the leader in live, celestial event programming with weekly shows featuring the great wonders of the universe - shown live by observatories worldwide,” will have live streams from the Canary Islands and Arizona as well as a live chat set up beginning at 9 p.m. EST that will track the asteroid’s passage. You can watch the live stream on Slooh's homepage.
There is no chance of this asteroid hitting Earth, which is fortunate for humanity’s survival as an asteroid of that magnitude would cause an impact equivalent to several hundred atomic bombs, notes Slooh. A historical comparison would be the "Tunguska event" in 1908 in Siberia, which leveled the forest for 50 miles around.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory will also have a live stream of the asteroid. That live stream will feature discussions, animations of the asteroid’s trajectory as well as real-time looks at the flyby from Australian observatories. The Marshall Space Flight Center will also have a live stream of the asteroid beginning at 9 p.m. EST.
The Virtual Telescope Project in Italy will also have a live stream of asteroid 2012 DA14 beginning at 5 p.m. EST. The 130,000 metric ton space object will be one of the largest asteroids to pass so close to Earth, and Feb. 15 is a date many astronomers and researchers have been anticipating. In addition to the record size and close proximity, the asteroid would be worth roughly $200 billion if its rare metals could be mined.
NASA's live stream from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Marshall Space Flight Center can be viewed below, as can Virtual Telescope Project's live stream.
Charles Poladian joined IBTimes in October 2012 and, when not reporting on all things topical, can be found reading or photographing concerts.