Clouds play spoilsport in viewing closest-ever asteroid
New Delhi: Cloudy sky prevented stargazers in Delhi and parts of northern and western India from catching a glimpse of an asteroid, about half the size of a football field, which passed at a close proximity to Earth Friday night.
The asteroid called "2012 DA14" passed by Earth at a distance of 27,700 km shortly after midnight, the closest approach by any asteroid in recorded history to buzz past our planet, Director of Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE) C B Devgun said.
Light showers and clouds dampened expectations of stargazers who were not able to witness the 45-metre wide space rock.
While the presence of a crescent Moon had raised hopes of a great view of the celestial body for skygazers who had put their telescopes, the weather played a spoilsport, Devgun said.
The asteroid was discovered on February 23, 2012 in Spain.
The space rock passed within the Moon`s distance from Earth and was closer than the orbits of some geosynchronous satellites, which provide weather data and telecommunications.
The next time it will have closest approach to Earth on February 15, 2019 when it be at 6,91,64,078 km. The last time it came close was on February 16, 2012 and was at 26,06,840 km.
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