How many asteroids in near-Earth space in mid-February, 2013?
February 15, 2013 was a red-letter day for asteroids in near-Earth space. A small asteroid exploded in the atmosphere above Russia, followed by the much-publicized close flyby of asteroid 2012 DA14. Here’s a way to picture Earth and the asteroids near it in space, from Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland. The image below is near-Earth space in mid-February, 2013. It shows all the objects within 0.3 AU of Earth on that day – that’s 45 million kilometers – or about 30 million miles – or about one-third of the distance between us and the sun. The red oval around Earth represents 3.84 million kilometers, or 10 lunar distances.