Tomorrow night, a small asteroid will travel nearer Earth than any space rock astronomers have identified beforehand. “It’s the closest that we’ve seen ahead of time,” says Denton S. Ebel, curator in the Museum’s Division of Physical Sciences (Earth and Planetary Sciences).
The Moon is nearly 240,000 miles from Earth, but this asteroid, called 2012 DA14, will travel as close as about 17,200 miles from the planet, over Indonesia. This GIF was created in 2012, after the asteroid was first observed moving across the sky.
Have questions about asteroid 2012 DA14? Ask Dr. Ebel tomorrow on Twitter at noon ET. Tag your questions with #asteroidchat and follow along here.