Am I the only one who’s remembering “Night of the Comet” over this?
NASA Television will provide commentary starting at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST) on Friday, Feb. 15, during the close, but safe, flyby of a small near-Earth asteroid named 2012 DA14. NASA places a high priority on tracking asteroids and protecting our home planet from them. This flyby will provide a unique opportunity for researchers to study a near-Earth object up close.
The half-hour broadcast from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., will incorporate real-time animation to show the location of the asteroid in relation to Earth, along with live or near real-time views of the asteroid from observatories in Australia, weather permitting.
At the time of its closest approach to Earth at approximately 11:25 a.m. PST (2:25 p.m. EST / 19:25 UTC), the asteroid will be about 17,150 miles (27,600 kilometers) above Earth’s surface. The commentary will be available via NASA TV and streamed live online at: * http://www.nasa.gov/ntv * and http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2.
This past November, Two NASA astronomers suggested that the size and location of an asteroid belt, shaped by the evolution of the sun’s planet-forming disk and by the gravitational influence of a nearby giant Jupiter-like planet, may determine whether complex life will evolve on an Earth-like planet.
You can read more about tomorrow’s near miss at NASA’s website here: http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2013/02/ecoalert-nasa-will-livestream-asteroid-flyby-this-friday.html