The asteroid 2012 DA14 observed at the Observatorio de Sierra Nevada


The asteroide 2012 DA14 (also known as Goblin) is an object near the Earth or NEO (Near Earth Object). The NEOs are asteroids and comets that orbit around the Sun or the different planets and, thanks to their gravitational action, pass near the Earth. The asteroid 2012 DA14 with a diameter of about 45 to 50 meters and a mass of 130000 tons, was discovered in February 2012 by the el Observatorio Astronómico de La Sagra in Granada (España).

The calculations show that the minimum distance between the asteroid and the center of the Earth was 34100 km (0.000228 AU) and passed to 27700 km (0.0001851 UA) of the Earth's surface on 15 February 2013. The closest approach occurred at 19.24 GMT, when the asteroid was about 8500 km below the region where orbiting geostationary satellites (about 35000 km from Earth).

Graphic depicts the trayectory of asteroid 2012 DA14 on Febraury 15, 2013 during its close approach seen above Earth's north. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

During the approach of the asteroid several observatories observed the event to obtain information on the physical properties of this NEO. The Observatorio de Siera Nevada has carried out photometry using the T150 teelescope.