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2012 DA14 asteroid animation

By: sclaypoole
On February 15, a 45-meter wide asteroid known as “2012 DA14” will pass within 20,000 miles of Earth, which is approximately 1/12th of the way to the Moon and well within range of many Earth-orbiting satellites. While scientists don’t anticipate a collision with Earth, it could make for some fantastic skywatching for space geeks in certain parts of the world. To capture the event, AGI aerospace engineers have used our Systems Tool Kit (STK) software to create an animation showing:
  • 2012 DA14’s deep space trajectory as it approaches Earth
  • The pass by Earth below the GEO Belt and crossing the equatorial plane from South to North
  • A closeup of the asteroid during its closest approach
  • A highlighted portion of Earth orbit that it is expected to pass through

NOTICE TO MEDIA: To request a broadcast-quality version of this animation, write to In all uses, please courtesy "Animation courtesy of Analytical Graphics, Inc."

An interactive scenario is available by clicking here. You can also access it on the STK Data Federate and view it with the free STK product. Use STK to view it in 3D, add satellites from the database, fuse it with user trajectories and/or calculate close approaches to orbiting satellites with STK Conjunction Analysis Tools (CAT). CESIUM DEMO
For those without AGI software installed, below is an interactive simulation of the event using Cesium, an AGI-founded open-source globe and map engine that runs in a web browser.

Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Lab (JHU/APL) used ephemeris generated from their own tracking data of the Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RSBP) to determine the minimum range between the two spacecraft and the 2012 DA14 asteroid during Friday’s event. Check out the analysis in Cesium here:

The Space Data Center also uses operator data to provide actionable satellite collision warnings for members of the Space Data Association (SDA). Built on AGI’s commercial software, the data center provides networked access to operational capabilities through a service-oriented architecture. Learn more about joining the Space Data Association today.
Posted: 2/4/2013 5:16:46 PM