2013 Asteroid 2012 DA14 Flyby: Best Views in Australia

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By Jenalyn Villamarin | February 15, 2013 5:15 PM EST

The 2013 Asteroid 2012 DA14 will be at its closest distance to planet Earth as it passes by and Australia will have the best views on early Saturday morning. Though the asteroid's flyby speed is about 18,000 miles per hour, it will still be visible as a tiny speck of light at the major viewing locations in Asia, Eastern Europe and Australia.

To witness the non-threatening asteroid flyby, experts suggest spectators should look beneath the Southern Cross at approximately 4:30 a.m. AEDT then onwards while Perth residents should stay up late. The best near-Earth asteroid flyby views will be on the west coast but not in Perth due to the ambient lighting.

In the rural areas of West Australia, residents can search the clear skies at about 2:30 a.m. local time with use of binoculars or telescopes. Areas from Adelaide to Darwin will still experience the next-best near-Earth Asteroid 2012 DA14 views despite the Bureau of Meteorology's forecast on a possible forming of clouds in South Australia on Saturday morning.  

Weather on the east coast can hinder the viewer's chances of witnessing the 2013 Asteroid 2012 DA14 flyby. Sydney and Brisbane are projected with cloudy conditions and showers. However, Melbourne is expected to have better viewing with the clear skies.

In increasing the chances of a better near-Earth asteroid flyby viewing, Gold Coast astronomer Andre Clayden recommends the curious viewers to use a 12-inch wide telescope or larger. Another suggestion is the use of stationary binoculars.

For viewers who wish to view the Asteroid 2012 DA14 flyby through the internet, take a look at the web site Space.com. The site will air the video footages coming from numerous telescopes located all over the world that monitors this remarkable phenomenon in space.

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