Asteroid to buzz Earth this week

Carla Harmon
October 11, 2017

A massive #asteroid will pass near #Earth on #Thursday, according to The Guardian.

The asteroid, designated as 2012 TC4 in recognition of the year it was first observed, will brush Earth overnight Wednesday and Thursday from about 30,000 miles, well within the moon's orbit.

The upcoming asteroid will fly over the Pacific Ocean at 1:42 AM ET.

2012 TC4 is estimated to be around 15 metres across, is probably an elongated shape, and is moving at around 7.6 km/second relative to Earth.

It is certainly an event that will be closely watched.

This may sound like a long way away, yet it's a short distance in planetary terms and around one eighth of the distance between the Earth and the Moon. The scientists said that although the asteroid does not pose any threat to Earth but still this close approach will help them to track its orbit and give them a rare chance to rehearse for a real-life asteroid which could enter Earth's atmosphere and pose a threat to our planet. It is also within the range that some of our satellites orbit and could pose a threat to those spacecraft.

The Earth will be having a close call-astronomically speaking-when a 65-foot-wide asteroid buzzes past on Thursday, the Christian Science Monitor reports. This asteroid was discovered by the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) in Hawaii in 2012.

Meanwhile, this asteroid which is nearly the size of a house will pass somewhere between 18,000-40,000 kilometers of the Earth's surface, just inside the space where geostationary satellites orbit in general.

Rüdiger Jehn of European Space Agency said that asteroid 2012 TC4 completes a one day loop around the Sun in 609 days, so it is expected to return to Earth in 2050 and then again in 2079. The asteroid is at No. 13 on the "risk list" of objects that could impact Earth.

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