Ways to watch the asteroid fly-by - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

NASA tracking asteroid as it buzzes Earth


If you want to keep a close eye the 150-foot asteroid expected to whiz by the Earth this afternoon, there are a few ways to do it.

Asteroid 2012 DA14 will make a close, but safe, flyby of Earth today. At 1:25 p.m.(CT), the asteroid will pass within 17,500 miles of Earth, closer than many satellites.

The asteroid will be too small to see with the naked eye. The best viewing locations, with binoculars and telescopes, will be in Asia, Australia and Eastern Europe.

As asteroids go, this is a shrimp. The one that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago was 6 miles across. But this rock could still pack a wallop, wiping out 750 square miles if it struck.

NASA has a live stream from the Sanford Valley Observatory in Brisbane, Australia, as they follow Asteroid 2012 DA14 on its pass by Earth. It's expected to make the closest known flyby for a rock of its size.

Sci-Port is also offering a live streaming view of the event today between 1 and 2 p.m. in the SWEPCO Demonstration Theatre, followed by some Q & A with Planetarium Manager Greg Andrews.

Additional programming will be available after the viewing, including an opportunity to touch a real space rock in Sci-Port's meteorite collection. Visitors will have a chance to learn about the different types of meteorites, and create their own impact crater.

The programs will address some of the mainstream thoughts concerning "Doomsday" asteroids, including whether there are really any out there, and what are the chances Earth have at being struck by a large (i.e. at least 100 miles in diameter) rock from space. They'll also take a closer look at whether there a plan in place to prevent collision if an asteroid is on a collision path with Earth.

Sci-Port will also discuss the science behind rocks from space – what are their differences and similarities, and why are they so important to scientists. Lastly, the additional programming will highlight impacts on Earth from past asteroids.

The viewing and additional programs (1 - 4:30 p.m.) are free with general admission.

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