What Will Earth Do to Asteroid 2012 DA14?

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With the upcoming historically close passage of asteroid 2012 DA14 on February 15, there has been an uptick is discussion of the effects of asteroid impacts on Earth and what, if anything, can be done to prevent them. Less discussed has been Earth’s affect on the asteroid. The small size and low density of asteroids can combine with gravitational fields of large solar system bodies to significantly alter asteroidal orbits; this is one of the reasons their trajectories are so difficult to predict. In the interview below, Space.com‘s Miriam Kramer explores such effects with Dr. Denton Ebel, physical sciences chair at the American Museum of Natural History. As you wait for the end of the world, check it out!

 

 

 

 

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Merryl Azriel

Merryl Azriel

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Having wandered into professional writing and editing after a decade in engineering, science, and management, Merryl now enjoys reintegrating the dichotomy by bringing space technology and policy within reach of an interested public. After three years as Space Safety Magazine’s Managing Editor, Merryl semi-retired to Visiting Contributor and manager of the campaign to bring the International Space Station collaboration to the attention of the Nobel Peace Prize committee. She keeps her pencil sharp as Proposal Manager for U.S. government contractor CSRA.