How to observe asteroid 2012 DA14 this Friday.

At 150 feet (45 meters) wide, asteroid 2012 DA14 is about half the size of a football field. It’s also moving at a blistering 17,450 mph (28,100 km/h).  The asteroid will pass just 27,630 kilometers (17,168 miles) from the surface of the Earth.

https://i2.wp.com/www.nasa.gov/images/content/724125main_2012da14rp36-full.jpg

Yes, it will pass in the ring of geosynchronous satellites around the Earth.  No, we won’t be hit (cue the Bruce Willis references).  But… how can I see it?

 https://i1.wp.com/www.csmonitor.com/var/ezflow_site/storage/images/media/images/0707-bruce-willis-asteroid/8275526-1-eng-US/0707-bruce-willis-asteroid_full_600.jpg
Actually, the best way you will be able to see it is here.  If you have a telescope, all you will be able to see, maybe, is some light.  A lot of astronomers, both amateur and professional will be taking images to get light curves.  A light curve is a graph of light intensity of a celestial object or region, as a function of time.
File:201 Penelope light curve.png
These light curves help determine a lot about asteroids from throughout the solar system.  Even though we cannot see the asteroid, using the light curves you can actually make a computer generated 3D model of the shape of the asteroid.
If you are near a radio telescope, you might see a couple of pixels, but in the end.  Watch on the web from the NASA site listed above.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities.  Connect with me on Google +

Norman

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