Mayan apocalypse? Avoided. Y2K anarchy? Suppressed. Gigantic asteroid hurled by the sun’s gravity toward Earth? Well …
Close but no cigar. Better go to Vegas, Earthlings, you’re on a winning streak of avoiding disaster.
In what NASA officials are calling the closest near-Earth fly-by in at least a generation, Asteroid 2012 DA14, is expected to buzz by our blue marble on Feb. 15. The 150-foot space rock will cross from south to north in the afternoon, coming within 22,200 miles of Earth. That’s closer than communication and GPS satellites in geostationary orbit.
Despite its close proximity, NASA says there’s nothing for anyone to worry about. Asteroids this size come close to Earth every 40 years, officials said. In fact, this asteroid passed by Earth last year — although it was much farther away. Scientists spotted it in February and have been tracking its orbit around the sun ever since.
If you want to see it, buy a pair of binoculars and a plane ticket, because this hunk of metal, minerals and ice won’t be easy to spot from your backyard.