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
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Your literary playlist: A guide to the music of Haruki Murakami
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- After Ferguson, we don't need another dialogue on race
- Russia's new air force is a mystery
- How I became a borderline hoarder
- The government is getting into the fact-checking business. Be very, very afraid.
Subscribe to the Week