Asteroid flyby 'one for the history books'
Closest known flyby for a rock its size
- Duration 4:00
- Date Feb 15, 2013
Closest known flyby for a rock its size
Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
Jim green is the director of planetary science.
Division at NASA headquarters in Washington -- so explain what just happened and where we stand now.
Well this is one for the history books as we all know it just passed by.
Closest approach about 171200.
Miles off our cloud deck.
And it's heading out into space.
And as was discussed a little earlier we're gonna hit it was radar.
As it flies by and get a -- of fabulous knowledge that the planetary scientists will be poring over for years like -- Well we'll understand.
Much more about it -- We'll understand a little bit about some.
Its composition its top its its top regular it's called.
We'll also understand a lot about it spin period but more importantly we'll really be able to nail its orbit.
And that helps us in predicting future -- because we heard the NASA scientists -- talk about.
The next one likely to be 2080 he said although he didn't think that was gonna hit -- either.
Well indeed dead -- -- it's all about -- -- laws and and Newton.
And this particular one will be able to understand its orbit quite well.
Be able to take advantage is -- looking at it the next time it may come around.
Although it will be several decades but before all come anywhere near the earth -- system.
And I believe it will -- at that particular time be further than the moon will be.
While so this really was and historic moment that we all witnessed it together doesn't seem like.
At least as far as our experience -- anything happened -- we believe we're still on the air all of our.
Here is -- let us know via Twitter and other -- if we're not but.
It do you expect any sort of disruption to planet earth as a result of this.
No not at all in fact the excitement really is in the planetary science community because of this wonderful opportunity.
We already had the initial orbit well oh well -- calculated we've been observing this particular object for body year.
And indeed did -- it comes nowhere near any of our satellites.
And as I mentioned earlier.
It's already passed by -- over 171000 miles it in its closest approach.
Jim is there any way these two things are related what happened in Russia.
And what we just saw.
What we've taken a good look at the one that happened.
-- about twelve or thirteen hours ago and that particular one has is coming into a completely different trajectory.
DA fourteen came from south to north.
It appears that this one was more north to south and because those orbits is so very different we believe they're completely unrelated events.
That's just incredible you know it's like to have for the average layperson sitting at home it's just hard to believe -- I get this event every day.
And yet apparently today today we did well last question for you it is is.
You know sort of disconcerting that this asteroid that we just witness was discovered by a team of amateur.
As -- -- so I guess in another country about a year ago.
Now the study this stuff -- people feel assured that if another asteroid does decide to head toward planet earth.
-- on it they know and there's a way of stopping it if it does want to make a direct hit.
Last year is when this was discovered by a to a Spanish astronomers.
And we have network of people all around the globe.
There are looking for these and then bringing back that information to our central receiving facility are what we call -- minor planet center.
For which then we take a really good look.
At the asteroid we calculate its -- we determine if it's potentially hazardous or not.
So what you're seeing is that the network really work the network of planetary scientists are working well together.
To be able to exchange and share this kind of information.
If you pretty cool moment Jim thanks so much for being here -- at him.
Thank you -- our pleasure.