Approaching Asteroid May Smash a Satellite

Although extremely unlikely, a newly discovered asteroid called 2012 DA14 will pass so close to Earth in February that it might hit a communications satellite.

Astronomers estimate that the space rock is just 150 feet (45 meters) wide. But the orbit for 2012 DA14 is currently very Earthlike, which means it will be very close to Earth on a regular basis.

Based on current projections, the asteroid could swing close enough to our planet to disrupt some orbiting satellites on February 15, 2013. Fortunately, the International Space Station, circling the planet in low-Earth orbit (about 1,200 miles/2,000 kilometers up, or closer), is in no danger. Learn more here.

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