Here’s a prediction: The news media will focus about mid-month on a tiny object you can’t see – and ignore a dazzling appearance by zippy Mercury and its meeting with Mars that you can see!

The tiny object you can’t see is asteroid 2012 DA 14  and it will get all the attention because it will be passing very, very close to Earth – well, very close in space terms – something like 18,000 miles in real terms.  No, don’t get nervous – it won’t hit us. (Of course, I’ve read three different predictions of how close it will come, but what’s a small error among friends 😉 Anyway, to put that in perspective, that’s about 60 times farther from us than the International Space Station, but closer to us than our geosynchronous satellites orbit and roughly one-twelfth the distance to the Moon.

Yep, that’s close. But when it happens…

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