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Friday, February 15, 2013

Westport Observatory Hopes to See Asteriod

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The Rolnick Observatory hopes to observe the asteriod on Friday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The Westport Astronomical Society invites residents to join its members as they hope to observe a very near miss of an asteroid Friday when it comes within 17,150 miles from Earth’s atmosphere.

It said it will open the dome of its Rolnick Observatory, 182 Bayberry Lane, at 5:30 p.m. if the skies are clear.

If clouds and conditions make it impossible to see Asteriod 2012 DA14 from the Rolnick Observatory, visitors will be able to view it on the NASA website.

“From our location, it rises in daylight close to 4:30 p.m.,” a Society news release said.

“We have a chance of seeing this after 5:30 p.m. or so at approximately 10th magnitude, moving quickly.

“At 8:30 p.m. it’s dimmed to a difficult 12th magnitude and by the time it transits in Ursa Major, it will be beyond the Rolnick Observatory’s capabilities to see.”

NASA said NASA Television will provide commentary starting at 2 p.m.

It said at the time of its closest approach to Earth at approximately 2:25 p.m., the asteroid will be about 17,150 miles (27,600 kilometers) above Earth’s surface.

Posted 02/15 at 12:30 AM 

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