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A Close Encounter of the Rocky Kind!

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There was a lot of media coverage of this event, much increased by the incredible Russian Meteorite fall.

The Near-Earth Asteroid NEO 2012 DA14 made a very close pass to the Earth yesterday (15-Feb 2013). Incredibly, this football-pitch-sized rock passed about 28,000 Km from Earth. Think about that! The diameter of our planet is about 12,750 Km and the Earth-Moon distance is, on average, 384,400 Km. So, this rock skimmed by only two-and-a-bit Earth diameters away!

Anyway, I was determined to grab some images of this event, and luckily it was a lovely clear sky that greeted me as I opened the observatory to prepare at sunset. I had prepared by downloading the orbital elements from the IAU Minor PLanet Center here , but picking it up was still tricky as it was not in the field of my 130mm APO refractor as expected. Undeterred, I scanned each side of the track and luckily spotted the tell-tail streak of the rapidly moving object on my screen.

Here are 2 images with full details on each. I chose these out of the many I took because they have nice galaxies in them too!