Discovered by the LaSagra observatory in southern Spain, the small
asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass within 22,245 of the Earth's surface on February 15, 2013. The asteroid will travel
rapidly from the southern evening sky into the northern morning sky
with its closest Earth approach occurring about 2:26 PM EST when it will
achieve a magnitude of less than seven, which is somewhat fainter than
naked eye visibility. About 4 minutes after its Earth close approach,
there is a good chance it will pass into the Earth's shadow for about 18 minutes or so
before reappearing from the eclipse. When traveling rapidly into the
northern morning sky, 2012 DA14 will quickly fade in brightness.
Key points -
The asteroid will (should) not impact Earth on February 15, 2013.
There is a 1 in 7,692,308,000 chance of 2012 DAimpacting Earth on 16 February 2110.
If it were to hit Earth, it is estimated that it would produce the equivalent of 2.5 megatons of TNT. To put than in perspective, the maximum yield of a nuclear bomb in the U.S. weapons arsenal is 1.2 megatons.