Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close
Asteroid 2012 DA14 (LCOGT/Faulkes via NASA/JPL Photo)

PHOENIX -- An asteroid the size of half of a football field passed pass by Earth just after noon Friday with nary a Hollywood apocalyptic scenario in its wake.

The asteroid wasn't even visible to the naked eye. KTAR's Dr. Sky said the space rock, 2012 DA14, would cruise about 17,000 miles from the planet. In cosmic terms that is close.

"It's extremely unusual and theoretically dangerous. If the Earth is just a few thousand miles off in its orbit then the planet would absorb the impact of this amazing object," he said.

The asteroid's trajectory was set to cut inside of the satellite belt where TV and military satellites are in orbit, about 22,000 miles up.

Dr. Sky said even though the asteroid is small, if it hit it would do serious damage to a populated area.

"It would vaporize downtown Phoenix, creating a crater like Meteor Crater in northern Arizona east of Flagstaff. It would be a firestorm with winds of 300-400 miles per hour."

Early Friday, a meteor swept across the sky in eastern Russia, injuring hundreds.

Jim Cross, Reporter

share this story:
Attention Comment Users: We have recently changed our comments boards.
We would like you to be part of the conversation and The Voice of Arizona by logging in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing KTAR (Arizona Sports) account members will need to create a Disqus account or use one of the aforementioned social media logins. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus

World Class Arizona

  • Dignity Health

    World Class People. World Class Company. Excellent care, delivered with compassion, for all in need.

Voice For A Better Arizona

  • Family in Focus

    KTAR spends the week taking a look at the issues a modern Arizona family faces.