The TNG observations of 2012 DA14

On the 15th of Febrary the TNG joined the worldwide observational campaign of the asteroid 2012 DA14. The 40-ton rock passed at a distance of only about 28000km from the Earth surface and reached an apparent magnitude of almost 7. DOLORES and NICS mounted at the TNG were used to monitor 2012 DA14 roughly around the moment of peaking brightness. As a result, the optical and near infrared broad and narrow-band filter imaging of the asteroid were obtained. These unique observations will doubtlessly be a valuable contribution to the ongoing study of the characterization of 2012 DA14 and determination of its nature and physical properties.

A series of NICS K band 10sec frames are combined to build this animation. The image frame is the entire field-of-view of NICS, i.e. 4.2x4.2 arcmins. (Image credits TNG - N. Pinilla Alonso)

TNG contact person: Gloria Andreuzzi, email, tel. (+34)-922-433645.