Monday, 11 February 2013

Asteroid 2012 DA14: How to See It in the UK

image from

This Friday night sees the closest passing of an asteroid for a long time. Scientists are even saying that it has the potential to impact us in the future. But for now, we can enjoy this spectacle from the comfort of our gardens in the UK. 

As you can see from the map above, the asteroid will be visible to us, starting at 8pm. By visible, I mean with a small telescope or a pair of binoculars. The magnitude of the asteroid will be 8. Which means it'll be incredibly faint to the human eye, unless you're in a dark sky site & then there's a small chance you may be able to see it with the naked eye.

A few people have asked how I will be capturing this. If all goes well & we have clear skies (pleasepleaseplease!) then I'll be out at around 9pm. I'm going for the star trails approach, where the end result will (hopefully!) show the path of the asteroid as a small streak. I'm going to start my camera off on 30 second exposures & do this for an hour. I'll stack all the shots using Photoshop.

As this is the first time I ever attempted something like this, the results could either be absolutely amazing, or a downright disaster. 

Any questions, please leave a comment below or you can contact me via twitter @_purpleface :) Please share any images you get on Friday night! :)

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