|Discovered by||OAM Observatory, La Sagra (J75)
|Discovery date||February 23, 2012|
|MPC designation||2012 DA14|
|Minor planet category||Post 2013-Feb-15: Aten
Pre-2013: Apollo NEO
|Aphelion||0.9917 AU (Q)|
|Perihelion||0.8289 AU (q)|
|Semi-major axis||0.9103 AU (a)|
|Orbital period||317.2 days|
|Mean anomaly||231.0° (M)|
|Longitude of ascending node||146.9°|
|Argument of perihelion||195.5°|
|Dimensions||~45 meters (148 ft)
20 × 40 m (66 × 130 ft) (elongated)
(Geometric mean = 18 m)
18 meters (59 ft)
|Escape velocity||~0.014 meters (0.55 in) per second|
|Rotation period||9 hr|
|Albedo||0.44 ± 0.20|
|Apparent magnitude||7.2 (2013 peak)|
|Absolute magnitude (H)||24.1
25.29 HV; 24.5 HR 
24.4 (2012 estimate)
2012 DA14 is a near-Earth asteroid with an estimated diameter of 30 meters (98 ft) and an estimated mass of 40,000 metric tons. Before radar imaging, estimates for the diameter were 45–50 meters. During its 2013 close passage, the asteroid passed 27,700 km (17,200 mi), or 4.3 Earth radii, from the surface of Earth. This is a record close approach for a known object of this size. About 16 hours before the closest approach of 2012 DA14, an asteroid entered Earth's atmosphere above Russia, which was, however, unrelated to it because it had a significantly different orbit.
Discovery and past risk assessments
The asteroid was discovered on February 23, 2012, by the Observatorio Astronómico de La Sagra, Granada in Spain (J75), operated remotely by astronomers in Mallorca, seven days after passing 0.0174 AU (2,600,000 km; 1,620,000 mi) from Earth.
Based on the still relatively imprecise orbit deduced from the short arc of the 2012 observations, there was a cumulative 0.033% risk estimate (1 in 3,030) of 2012 DA14 impacting Earth sometime between 2026 and 2069. It was, on the other hand, already clear that the asteroid would pass no closer to Earth's surface than 3.2 Earth radii during its 2013 passage. Eliminating an entry on the Sentry Risk Table is a negative prediction; a prediction of where it will not be.
During closest approach to Earth in 2013 the orbital period of the asteroid was reduced from 366 days to 317 days. Its aphelion was reduced from 1.110 to 0.9917 AU, leaving it almost entirely inside Earth's orbit.
On January 9, 2013, the asteroid was observed again by Las Campanas Observatory and the observation arc increased from 79 days to 321 days. On February 15, 2013 at 19:25 Universal Time, the asteroid passed 0.0002276 AU (34,050 km; 21,160 mi) from the center of Earth, with an uncertainty region of about 0.0000001 AU (15 km; 9.3 mi). It passed 27,743 kilometers (17,239 mi) above Earth's surface, closer than satellites in geosynchronous orbit. It briefly peaked at an apparent magnitude of roughly 7.2, a factor of a few fainter than would have been visible to the naked eye. The best observation location for the closest approach was Indonesia. Eastern Europe, Asia, and Australia also were well situated to observe the asteroid during its closest approach. The asteroid was not expected to pass any closer than 1950 km to any satellites. Goldstone Observatory observed 2012 DA14 with radar from February 16 to February 20. Radar observations have shown it to be an elongated asteroid with dimensions of 20 by 40 meters (66 by 130 feet). This gives the asteroid a geometric mean (spherical) diameter equivalent to 28 meters (92 ft).
During the close approach an observational campaign involving 5 different telescopes in 4 different observatories was carried on in order to get information on the physical properties of this NEO. Visible and near-Infrared photometry, and visible spectroscopy were obtained at Gran Telescopio Canarias, Telescopio Nazionale Galileo and Calar Alto Observatory and put together. The classification using the M4AST online tool says this is an L-type asteroid those peculiar asteroids are characterized by a strongly reddish spectrum shortward of 0.8 μm, and a featureless flat spectrum longward of this, with little or no concave-up curvature related to a 1 μm silicon absorption band. Time-series photometry was also obtained in the Observatorio de La Hita (I95) and Observatorio de Sierra Nevada during two consecutive nights (15–16 February 2013). All of this data were co-fased to build a light curve of the object. This light-curve is double-peak and presents large variations in magnitude, implying a very elongated object, which is compatible with radar observations. The amplitude of the light-curve yields an axial ratio that assuming a long axis of 40 m, as can be inferred from the radar images by Goldstone, results in an equivalent diameter of 18 m, much smaller than the estimations before the close-approach. The rotational period was precisely determined from the light curve obtaining a value of 8.95 ± 0.08 h. This value is confirmed with an analysis of all the photometry of this objects reported to the Minor Planet Center. Using data pre and post close approach the authors find that the object suffered a spin-up during the event that decreased the rotational period form 9.8 ± 0.1 h down to 8.8 ± 0.1, which is compatible with the more accurate value estimated form the light-curve.
The close approach to Earth reduced the orbital period of 2012 DA14 from 368 days to 317 days, and perturbed it from the Apollo class to the Aten class of near-Earth asteroids. Its next close approach to Earth will be on 15 February 2046 when it will pass about 0.0148 AU (2,210,000 km; 1,380,000 mi) from Earth. Based on 7 radar observations, the next close approach to Earth similar to the 2013 passage will be on 16 February 2123 when 2012 DA14 will pass no closer than 0.0002 AU (30,000 km; 19,000 mi) from the center of Earth. For the 2123 passage, the nominal pass will be 0.003 AU (450,000 km; 280,000 mi) from the center of the Moon and then 0.005 AU (750,000 km; 460,000 mi) from the center of Earth.
- The uncertainty region of 2012 DA14 during planetary encounters is now well determined through 2123.
- 2012 DA14 was removed from the Sentry Risk Table on 16 February 2013.
- It is estimated that there are more than a million near-Earth asteroids smaller than 100 meters.
Risk assessments were calculated based on a diameter of 45 meters and a mass of 130,000 metric tons. It was estimated that, if it were ever to impact Earth, it would enter the atmosphere at a speed of 12.7 km/s, would have a kinetic energy equivalent to 2.4 megatons of TNT, and would produce an air burst with the equivalent of 2.1 megatons of TNT at an altitude of roughly 10.1 kilometers (33,000 ft). The Tunguska event has been estimated at 3–20 megatons. Asteroids of approximately 50 meters in diameter are expected to impact Earth once every 1200 years or so. Asteroids larger than 35 meters across can pose a threat to a town or city. As a result of radar observations it is now known that 2012 DA14 is only about 30 meters in diameter.
|Diameter||Kinetic energy at
|30 m (98 ft)||708 kt||530 kt||16.1 km (53,000 ft)||185 years|
|50 m (160 ft)||3.3 Mt||2.9 Mt||8.5 km (28,000 ft)||764 years|
|70 m (230 ft)||9 Mt||8.5 Mt||3.4 km (11,000 ft)||1900 years|
|85 m (279 ft)||16.1 Mt||15.6 Mt||0.435 km (1,430 ft)||3300 years|
For kinetic energy at atmospheric entry, 3.3 Mt is equivalent to DF-4, 9 Mt is equivalent to Ivy Mike and 15.6 Mt is equivalent to Castle Bravo. For airburst energy, 530 kt is equivalent to W88 and 2.9 Mt is equivalent to R-12 Dvina.
- "MPEC 2012-D51 : 2012 DA14". IAU Minor Planet Center. 2012-02-24. Retrieved 2012-03-05. (K12D14A)
- Paul Chodas and Don Yeomans (February 1, 2013). "Asteroid 2012 DA14 To Pass Very Close to the Earth on February 15, 2013". NASA/JPL Near-Earth Object Program Office. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
- "JPL Close-Approach Data: (2012 DA14)". 2013-02-19 last obs (arc=362 days (Radar=7 obs); Uncertainty=0). Retrieved 2013-02-19.
- "WayBack Machine archive from 25 Aug 2012". Wayback Machine. 2012-08-25. Retrieved 2013-01-10.
- Dr. Lance A. M. Benner (2013-01-13). "2012 DA14 Goldstone Radar Observations Planning". NASA/JPL Asteroid Radar Research. Retrieved 2013-01-15.
- "L. Johnson 2012 DA14 Update: radar images showing elongated object ~20x40m". Minor Planet Center.
- de Leon, J.; Ortiz, J. L.; Pinilla-Alonso, N.; Cabrera-Lavers, A.; et al. (2013). "Visible and near-infrared observations of asteroid 2012 DA14 during its closest approach of February 15th, 2013". Astronomy and Astrophysics 555: L2–L6. arXiv:1303.0554. Bibcode:2013A&A...555L...2D. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201321373.
- Bruce L. Gary (2013.02.18). "Asteroid "2012 DA14" Rotation Light Curve". Retrieved 2013-02-20.
- "2012 DA14 Ephemerides for 15 February 2013". NEODyS (Near Earth Objects – Dynamic Site). Retrieved 2013-01-10.
- Don Yeomans and Paul Chodas (March 1, 2013). "Additional Details on the Large Fireball Event over Russia on Feb. 15, 2013". NASA/JPL Near-Earth Object Program Office. Retrieved 2013-03-02.
- "Russia Meteor Not Linked to Asteroid Flyby". NASA. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- "Russian Asteroid Strike". ESA.int. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
- Paul Chodas, Jon Giorgini & Don Yeomans (March 6, 2012). "Near-Earth Asteroid 2012 DA14 to Miss Earth on February 15, 2013". NASA/JPL Near-Earth Object Program Office. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
- Horizons output. "Horizon Online Ephemeris System". Retrieved 2013-01-10. ("Ephemeris Type: Elements" PR value)
- "2012 DA14 Orbit". Minor Planet Center. 2013 01 09 (arc=321 days). Retrieved 2013-01-11.
- "Closest approaches of 2012 DA14 to known satellites - no encounter is closer than ~2000 km". Jonathan's Space Report No. 674. 2013-02-10. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
- SPACE DAILY
- Phil Plait (2013-02-19). "An Asteroid's Parting Shot". Bad Astronomy blog. Retrieved 2013-02-19.
- "Date/Time Removed". NASA/JPL Near-Earth Object Program Office. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
- "WISE Revises Numbers of Asteroids Near Earth". NASA/JPL. September 29, 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
- Robert Marcus, H. Jay Melosh, and Gareth Collins (2010). "Earth Impact Effects Program". Imperial College London / Purdue University. Retrieved 2013-02-09. (solution using 45 meters, 2600 kg/m3, 12.7 km/s, 45 degrees)
- "Sandia supercomputers offer new explanation of Tunguska disaster". Sandia National Laboratories. 2007-12-17. Retrieved 2007-12-22.
- "Record Setting Asteroid Flyby". NASA Science. Jan. 28, 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-29.
- Will Ferguson (January 22, 2013). "Asteroid Hunter Gives an Update on the Threat of Near-Earth Objects". Scientific American. Retrieved 2013-01-23.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 2012 DA14.|
- Video: Fly by, Feb 15, 2013
- Asteroid 2012 DA14 to Safely Pass Earth (JPLnews video Feb 4, 2013)
- Guide to Asteroid 2012 DA14 Super Close Approach (Bruce Betts 2013/02/04 includes video)
- Physical characteristics of 2012 DA14, nasa.gov
- 2012 DA14 Earth Impact Risk Summary, nasa.gov
- Real-time video of asteroid 2012 DA14 passing Earth (Clay Center Observatory, beginning 6 p.m. EST on Feb. 15th)
- No, asteroid 2012 DA14 will not hit us next year, Bad Astronomy blog (Phil Plait, March 4, 2012)
- Cool animation showing asteroid DA 14′s near miss next year, Bad Astronomy blog (Phil Plait, March 8, 2012)
- 2012 DA14 sparks asteroid fever (Astro Bob, March 6, 2012)
- Near-miss asteroid will return next year (ESA – 15 March 2012)
- Discovery of 2012 DA14 (Jaime Nomen for OAM team – La Sagra Sky Survey), includes animated discovery images
- 2012 DA14 orbit calculation with a 3 day observation arc (mpml : February 26, 2012)
- Meteoroid hazard to satellites comes overwhelmingly from the marbles, not the mountains (mpml : March 26, 2012)
- Table of next close approaches (Sormano Astronomical Observatory)
- SAEL – Small Asteroid Encounter List (Sormano Astronomical Observatory)