Astronomy Picture of the Day
February 22, 2013
On February 15th an asteroid named 2012 DA14 passed within geosynchronous orbit of Earth. However, the Chelyabinsk Meteor stole the stole the spotlight by barging in and exploding over Russia on the same day. Thus, I want to back track to the asteroid that captivated our attention for about a year.
And, here it is.
Invisible to the unaided eye, we are able to use a telescope and long exposure to catch the 30-meter object as it swoops by our planet. Amidst the crowded starfield, we see a single streak – 2012 DA14 herself. The asteroid is currently passing near Eta Carinae and the southern Pleiades seen from Australia.
For a larger (and strongly recommended) view of this magnificent image, see: http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/
If you’re interested in seeing the best ‘up close’ images of the floating rock, see this collection acquired by the Goldstone Radar Collage: http://upload.wikimedia.org/
Image Credit: David Finlay