Experienced specialists in asteroids and comets worldwide announced that on Feb, 15, 2013, the asteroid known as 2012 DA14, will transit between Earth and the satellite orbit at a distance of about 27,000 kilometers, reported Network World on Feb. 12.
The asteroid 2012 DA14 was discovered by the telescopes of Sagra and Tenerife in Spain and was first observed in February of last year.
It's proximity to Earth was 2,250,000 kilometers away on Feb. 15, 2012, and this year we will see one of the closest approaches of an asteroid to earth in history, according to records from NASA.
It is estimated that the size of the asteroid is about 50 to 100 meters and it will not hit Earth, however, the four thousand celestial bodies in nearby orbits are potential threats to Earth.
"The impact of a small asteroid like would equal the destructive power of an atomic bomb. A larger asteroid could be catastrophic. " said the University of Central Florida.
For many space experts, asteroids provide clues about the early formation of the solar system and should be of interest to the community, because "they can be dangerous as well as a resource."
Scientists at Deep Space Industries believe the asteroid DA14 could be worth $195B in metals and propellant. However, it is virtually impossible for scientists to harness the valuable materials. According to Network World,
"The lack of a rocket and spacecraft that could actually catch such as asteroid of course is a big problem. There are a few other major issues as well. The path of asteroid 2012 DA14 is tilted relative to Earth, requiring too much energy to chase it down for mining. Deep Space believes there are thousands of near Earth asteroids that will be easier to chase down than this one.
Still, according to DSI experts, if 2012 DA14 contains 5% recoverable water, that alone -- in space as rocket fuel -- might be worth as much as $65 billion. If 10% of its mass It could mass which could range from as little as 16,000 tons or as much as one million tons -- is easily recovered iron, nickel and other metals, that could be worth -- in space as building material -- an additional $130 billion."