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5 Ways to Watch Historic Asteroid Flyby

e-newsThe 150-foot-wide asteroid 2012 DA14 will give Earth a close shave today, coming within 17,200 miles of our planet, and you can watch it live online.

The space rock will be at its closest approach over Indonesia at 2:24 p.m. EST. Experts have confirmed that there is no chance this asteroid will hit Earth. NASA scientists also ruled out that this asteroid is related to the meteorite that dramatically crashed into Russia this morning.

SEE ALSO: Russians Upload Amazing Footage of Meteor Blast and Aftermath

While asteroids whiz by our planet all the time, scientists are particularly interested in 2012 DA14 because it marks the closest flyby of an asteroid its size that we’ve ever known about in advance. Asteroids like 2012 DA14 only come this close to Earth once every 40 years, according to NASA research. Amateur astronomers in Spain discovered this asteroid, which will come closer to Earth than some of our own satellites, in February 2012.

Lucky skywatchers in parts of Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia may be able to see the asteroid with amateur equipment, such as a small telescope or binoculars. However, the Western Hemisphere will miss out on this chance because of the daylight.

However, there are plenty of ways to watch the asteroid flyby live online. Here are a few that we rounded up.

Live Video Feed: NASA TV

NASA will stream live views of the asteroid via Ustream and NASA TV. The video feed will start at 2 p.m. EST, about a half hour before the asteroid is at its closest approach. NASA will host a 30-minute webcast at noon EST to show real-time animation of the asteroid’s location.

The Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. will also host a separate video feed on its Ustream account.

Video and Talk Show: Slooh Space Camera

Paul Cox and Bob Berman of the Slooh team livestream almost all major flybys, and today will be no exception. Starting at 1 p.m. EST, the astronomers will host a live video show on its website.

The Slooh Space Camera is an extremely powerful robotic telescope that, for a small rental fee, members can access at any time through a web browser with Flash. Today’s show will be free for everyone. Slooh has observatories in the Canary Islands, La Dehesa, Chile and near Victoria, Australia — all areas untainted by light pollution.

Live-Tweeted Photos: Bayfordbury Observatory

If you’re unable to access a live video stream due to a slower Internet connection, the UK-based Bayfordbury Observatory says it will live-tweet images of asteroid 2012 DA14 as it buzzes by Earth. You can follow this feed @BayfordburyObs.

Student-Controlled Telescope: Clay Center Observatory

There are several observatories around the world that will run some type of video feed, but this one is particulary fun because high school students will control this telescope. Located in Brookline, Mass. near Boston, the educational Clay Center Observatory will host its video on Ustream at 6 p.m. EST.

Pre-Flyby Video: The Virtual Telescope

Located in Italy, the Virtual Telescope will host a video of asteroid 2012 D414’s flyby starting at 5 p.m. EST. However, the team has already put together a simulation of the asteroid’s apparent motion used TheSkyX Pro from Software Bisque. The time running in the video is about 50 times faster than reality.

Source : Mashable

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Rajowan Syed

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