NASA releases first video of Asteroid DA14's close encounter with Earth

NASA has released the first video observation of asteroid DA14's record-setting flyby of Earth. The 45-meter-wide space rock sped past last Friday, coming at one point within 17,200 miles of the planet's surface. That may seem like a wide berth (especially in light of the unanticipated arrival of the 17-meter-wide Chelyabinsk meteor earlier that same day), but DA14 passed well within the orbit of Earth's communication satellites.


The 73-frame movie featured up top was generated from radar observations made by the Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, CA. According to NASA, the observations were collected while the asteroid was moving away from Earth, increasing from a distance of 74,000 to 195,000 miles over the course of about eight hours. The resolution is 13 feet per pixel, and gives us our first idea of what this building-sized asteroid actually looks like.


Images and video via NASA

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We can capture breathtaking images of celestial bodies several light years from earth and we can't manage to get a better picture of a big rock passing right in our backyard?!