Here’s our vote for the best video from the February 15, 2013 passage of asteroid 2012 DA14. Geologist and astrophotographer Colin Legg in Australia captured the wonderful video below, in which he caught a decaying meteor train plus the asteroid 2012 DA14 moving in the same frame. He said it was “luck,” but if you’ve seen any of Colin’s other work in astrophotography, you know there was huge skill involved, too. He wrote:
I captured this footage starting 3.24 am from a dark sky site 350 km east of Perth. Just after camera rolling, a beautiful meteor burned across the sky, and amazingly, passed right through my camera’s field of view, lingering while the debris train swept up and out of view. In addition, the sky was also very busy swarming with countless man made satellites. The asteroid is the bright object at left moving down the screen.
I had to watch this video several times to be able to appreciate both the meteor train and the asteroid. One hint: everything except the large meteor and asteroid are man-made satellites. The longer streaks are faster-moving satellites in lower orbits.
The meteor train is that orange wisp left behind when a bright meteor shoots past. It’s on the right side of the screen.
The asteroid is moving down the left side of the screen. You might also notice a man-made satellite moving from left to right. That’s not the asteroid. The asteroid is brighter than that left-to-right moving satellite, and it moves top-to-bottom on the left side of the screen.
Bottom line: Best video capture of close-passing asteroid 2012 DA14 on Friday, February 15, 2013.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.