An asteroid the destructive force of a hydrogen bomb will pass Earth at a distance less than a commercial satellite.Asteroid 2012 DA14 passes Earth once a year and the next "visit" in February 2013, will reach only 24,000 kilometers away.Researchers say that the asteroid will collide with Earth not next year, but not prevent it to happen sometime in the future.If this asteroid would enter Earth's atmosphere and would explode, the force generated by the explosion would be big enough to destroy an area the size of London.
The asteroid was discovered last month by a team of astronomers from Granada, Spain. La Sagra Observatory specialists using automated telescopes to study the sky. 2012 DA14 was discovered when astronomers decided to study a portion of the sky that are not normally observed asteroids.
Dr. Gerhard Droslhagen specialist European Space Agency, says that "asteroid measuring about 50 meters in diameter, the size that would cause serious damage if it would explode over a populated area. The explosion would have the largest nuclear power ".
In 1908, an asteroid estimated to be 40 meters in diameter exploded over Tunguska in Siberia regiunii, destroying over 2,000 square kilometers of forest.
Asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass by Earth on February 15, 2013. "Next year will the asteroid to be observed with binoculars, but there is no danger. In future, the possibility of a collision can not be excluded. It is extremely unlikely that this will happen, but the probability is greater than zero, "said Dr. Drolshagen.
Experts estimate that there are about 500,000 asteroids up to 30 meters in diameter that have not yet been discovered.
Another European Space Agency's expert, Dr. Detlef Koschny, states that "work to design an automated system that telescopes to detect asteroids of this type, our goal is to see these bodies at least three weeks before they go on near Earth "