Australasia watches for asteroid DA14
Sydney - Astronomers in the southern hemisphere prepared for the closest passage to Earth of a recorded asteroid Friday, but said it was unlikely to be a spectacular event for the general public.
Despite being the size of a 9-storey building and passing nearly within 27,000 kilometres of the Earth, 2012 DA14 will not be a patch on the New Year’s Eve fireworks, the Sydney Observatory warned.
A timed exposure on a camera in Australia’s largest city might yield "a faint streak longer than the shorter streaks from stars,"and only if the weather is good, the observatory’s Nick Lomb said.
"The observations and imaging may not work, but it’s still worth trying if the sky is clear," Lomb said. "What have you to lose? Only a little bit of sleep!" The asteroid was to pass closest to Earth at 1924 GMT, which is 6:24 on Saturday morning in Sydney, or 3:24 am in Indonesia, which would be the best place to see it, said Thomas Djamaluddin, spokesman for the country’s Aeronautics and Space Agency.//DPA