Friday, February 15, 2013

Astroid 2012 DA14 tonight !

As you may have come across news articles that asteroid 2012 DA14 will be fly by earth very closely. It will in fact come closer than the Moon and some Geo stationary satellites.

You can see the live event in SLOOH SpaceCamera if you think you are in a wrong timezone.

Following is the heaven's above chart.

Ajay Talwar did a fantastic job by calculating the  speed of the asteroid relative to the sky which is very helpful to spot it using a telescope. Note that you need at least a small telescope or good binocular to spot it even when it is closest because the apparent magnitude would be little beyond what unaided human can see at the darkest location.

Here is the approximate schedule created by Ajay Talwar considering the viewer from New Delhi

15th February
23:53 IST - 2012DA14 rises in the constellation of Centaurus, apparent speed 0.44 degrees per minute, Mag 8.8
16th February
00:27 IST - crosses into Hydra, apparent speed 0.71 degrees per minute, Mag 0.78
00:29 IST - close to beta Hya, apparent speed 0.72 degrees per minute, Mag 7.8
00:41 IST - crosses into Crater, apparent speed 0.82 degrees per minute, Mag 7.4
01:02 IST - crosses into Virgo, apparent speed 0.92 degrees per minute, Mag 7.0
01:05 IST - closest approach (approximately for India), apparent speed 0.92 degrees per minute, Mag 6.9
01:10 IST - close to beta Vir, apparent speed 0.91 degrees per minute, Mag 6.9
01:21 IST - crosses into Leo, apparent speed 0.87 degrees per minute, Mag 6.8
01:25 IST - close to beta Leo, apparent speed 0.84 degrees per minute, Mag 6.9
01:44 IST - crosses into Ursa Major, apparent speed 0.69 degrees per minute, Mag 7.2
02:33 IST - close to M109 galaxy, apparent speed 0.34 degrees per minute, Mag 8.4
03:24 IST - crosses into Draco, apparent speed 0.07 degrees per minute, Mag 9.3
04:57 IST crosses into Camelopardalis (headed directly towards Polaris), apparent speed 0.07 degrees per minute, Mag 10.5
Dawn break in Delhi

Astronomer Phill Plait will be doing live hangout during this event , you can catch him at Google Plus.