Asteroid 2012 DA14 Passing Friday

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eire1274
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This chunk of rock, 130 kilotons, with a diameter of over 45 meters, will be passing Friday the 15th within the 28000 kilometer range (estimates are 27670 kilometers, by NASA and many other collaborating space agencies). A flyby will be broadcast here at earthsky.org during the pass.

This won't be big enough to be visible by the naked eye, but the question is whether we can see it with hand-held magnification. I'll be setting up with a borrowed telephoto lens (nothing in my bag is really that high powered, so I'm hitting the local shop) and see if I can get anything. Best time to try to find it and take shots will be 6PM Friday to 4AM Saturday (EST). Anybody want to jump in on this project with me, see what we can get?

Nick McDermott

eire1274
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Well, this may in fact not be possible. The two stores here in Omaha I know of who rent lenses are already filled up with reservations, so nothing will be available. Seems I'm not the only one with the idea. I did order a Sigma 300mm lens as well as a 2x teleconverter (my camera is APSC sized, so there is additional magnification: 1.6x * 2x * 300mm = 960mm final focal length, long enough to pick out incredible surface details on the moon), but it's doubtful I'll see them by Friday.

Good luck to other photographers, but I don't think I'll have the gear to pull it off.

Nick McDermott

3dGameMan
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Damnit.. And I was ready to pack it in ;)

Rodney Reynolds,
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eire1274
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This is the one that past last year, and they needed to see the gravitational curve during the first pass before they knew where it would go this year. And the data now has it down to a 0.0000036% of getting hit by it in 2080.

Man, I was all ready for real-life Armageddon, Bruce Willis and his oil drillers heading for the rock to save the world. Darn.

I found another long lens, Canon's 75-300mm, in stock. But it's a crappy lens compared to what's on the market these days, and I can't make myself buy it.

Nick McDermott

eire1274
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Well, we had a bust here. What was supposed to be passing flurries into clear night sky dropped an inch or two and left us with cloudy skies.

It was visible on the ground with magnification, but the best views were on the eastern hemisphere, and it seems most photographers were getting more streaks on long exposure, as it wasn't reflective enough to really show up well through a camera.

Nick McDermott