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!