Asteroid 2006 DP14
© Remanzacco Observatory
The Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA) 2006 DP14 was discovered on 2006, February 23 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) program. PHAs are space rocks larger than approximately 100m that can come closer to Earth than 0.05 AU. None of the known PHAs is on a collision course with our planet, although astronomers are finding new ones all the time.

2006 DP14 has an estimated size of 460 m - 1.0 km (based on the object's absolute magnitude H=18.8) and it had a close approach with Earth at about 6.2 LD (Lunar Distances = ~384,000 kilometers) or 0.0160 AU (1 AU = ~150 million kilometers) at 1905 UT on 2014, February 10. This asteroid reached the peak magnitude ~12.8 on February 11, 2014. Shortly before and after the closest approach, this asteroid will be far enough north for Goldstone to track, and it is expecting to be a strong imaging target. Goldstone tracks are scheduled on February 8, 12, and 13.

We performed some follow-up measurements of this object on 2014, February 11.6, remotely from the Q62 iTelescope network (Siding Spring) through a 0.32-m f/9.0 Ritchey-Chretien + CCD + f/6.1 focal reducer.

Below you can see our image taken with the asteroid at magnitude ~12.8 and moving at ~82.0 "/min. At the moment of the close approach 2006 DP14 was moving at ~142"/min. Click on the image below to see a bigger version. North is up, East is to the left (the asteroid is trailed in the image due to its fast speed).
Here you can see a short animation showing the movement of 2006 DP14 (two consecutive 120-second exposure). Click here for a bigger version: