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House-sized asteroid will pass near to Earth this week
11 October 2017, 06:15 | Myron Mathis
NASANASA are certain Asteroid 2012 TC4 will come no closer than 4,200 miles to Earth
In other words, if there's a real, Armageddon-style asteroid threatening Earth, expert bodies around the world will be able to detect it and hopefully be able to come up with a better plan than sending a bunch of oil drillers up in space to divert it away from sending us into oblivion.
Mike Kelley, who works to spot and track the space rock at Nasa, said there was "no danger".
The 65-foot-wide asteroid won't hit us, but NASA and other asteroid scientists are watching the flyby closely as they prepare a defense against a future space rock that could come crashing down in a big load of bad, like the asteroid that scientists say wiped out dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
Called 2012 TC4, the asteroid will pass by Earth at an altitude of less than 44,000 km, just above the 36,000 km level where hundreds of satellites orbit the Earth. It is speeding through space at about 30,000 miles per hour and has brightened as it approaches Earth.
Though there's no direct threat to Earth, astronomy scientists will be closely watching it.
Khidir Mikayilov, Doctor of philosophy in Physics, said that asteroid will approach the Earth at a distance of 43 thousand kilometers, which is about 10 times less than the distance from the Earth to the Moon. TC4 is the 13th object in space that poses a threat to hit the Earth, the Guardian wrote.
"Understanding these things is critically important because if a big thing is coming and we didn't know about it there's very little we could do".
Four years ago, a house-sized asteroid tore through the atmosphere over Chelyabinsk, Russia, and exploded.
Sky and Telescope notes its approach is close enough that the rock's orbit will get a small deviation from Earth's gravity. It will be a good opportunity for people to capture images of the asteroid using telescopes.
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