Tags: asteroid | global | warning | system

Asteroid Size of a House to Fly Past Earth Thursday

Image: Asteroid Size of a House to Fly Past Earth Thursday
(NASA/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 10 October 2017 07:31 PM

An asteroid the size of a house will fly past Earth on Thursday and closer than the Moon but will not make impact and does not pose a threat, Agence France-Press reported.

The asteroid, 2012 TC4, first coasted past Earth in October 2012 at a distance of about 55,000 miles but will now shave past at a distance of about 27,300 miles.

An asteroid is a relatively small, inactive, rocky body orbiting the sun. About once a year, an auto-sized asteroid hits Earth's atmosphere but burns up before reaching the surface, according to NASA.

"We've now been observing TC4 for two months, so we have very accurate position information on it, which in turn allows very precise calculations of its orbit," NASA's Mike Kelley told AFP.

Kelley will lead the exercise to spot, track and intimately probe the asteroid. He said there was "no danger. Not even for satellites."

The close approach, though, will give research teams a chance to test the global asteroid pre-warning system, which may help speed up calculations of when and where incoming asteroids could strike Earth.

TC4 will return to Earth in 2050 and again in 2079 according to a researcher at the European Science Agency.

"We know today that it will also not hit the Earth in the year 2050, but the close flyby in 2050 might deflect the asteroid such that it could hit the Earth in the year 2079," he told AFP by email.

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The close approach of an asteroid Thursday will give research teams a chance to test the global asteroid pre-warning system, which may help speed up calculations of when and where incoming asteroids could strike Earth.
asteroid, global, warning, system
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2017-31-10
Tuesday, 10 October 2017 07:31 PM
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