A large asteroid approaching the earth at great speed. Scientists, sitting in a control room, keeping a close eye on its trajectory on large screens before them.
After a few hours and ground-based maneuvering, they finally manage to deflect the rogue body and save the planet earth from a catastrophe. This familiar sequence from sci-fi films may be enacted in control rooms of space agencies on Friday when an asteroid, designated 2012 DA14, about half the size of a football field flies past the earth. The only difference, however, is that scientists have ruled out any possibility of a collision with earth.
Nevertheless, it is a close call. THe nearest the flying object will come to the earth is 27,600 km. It is indeed close shave in astronomical terms, because some of our communication satellites fly above this mark at 36,000 km.
“The trajectory was analysed and we see no danger to our satellites”, a spokesperson of the Indian Space Research Organisation said. The closest approach as seen from Delhi will be between 1 am and 2 am on February 16, at a point where the asteroid will be seen near Virgo constellation, according to C.B Devgun of amateur astronomy group SPACE India.
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