When you see computer-generated images of asteroid 2012 DA14′s February 15, 2013 close flyby – showing the asteroid near Earth in space, seen from a distant vantage point – you might see the Earth, the asteroid, perhaps the sun, and maybe a few other planets. Here is another way to picture Earth and close-passing asteroids, from Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland.The image above is near-Earth space today – February 13, 2013. It shows all the objects currently within 0.3 AU of Earth – 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.
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