On Feb. 15, an asteroid about half the size of a football field will come awfully close to Earth. Asteroid 2012 DA 14, which is 150 feet in diameter, was discovered about a year ago, and will zoom by our planet about 17,200 miles above the Indian Ocean — or closer than most weather and communications satellites. Check out NASA's rendition above.
The space agency says the flyby is "the closest ever predicted Earth approach for an object this large." While it won't hit our planet this time around, there's a small chance it could collide with Earth when it circles back in 2110. Dina Spector at Business Insider points out that if an asteroid this size did hit Earth, it'd "be similar to the Tunguska asteroid, which hit Siberia in 1908."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why is American internet so slow?
- 7 ways to be the most interesting person in any room
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Colorado’s new ‘drive high, get a DUI’ commercials are actually pretty clever
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why is it so expensive to build a bridge in America?
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Ukraine's fraught relationship with Russia: A brief history
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
- Don't worry: World War III will almost certainly never happen
Subscribe to the Week