A chunk of space rock up to 100 feet wide is going to fly past Earth just 31,000 miles away – ‘damn close’ in space terms, as one scientist put it. The asteroid, 2012 TC4, is about 30-100 feet in size – nowhere near the size of the six-mile-wide rock which wiped out the dinosaurs. But it’s expected flyby, just 27,000 miles from our planet today at one eighth of the distance between Earth and the moon, and about 30% further away than geosynchronous satellites. The flyby will be safe, and the asteroid, 2012 TC4, will miss Earth – but it gives NASA a chance to test its new ‘planetary defence system’ as NASA hopes to to track 2012 TC4 – which could pass as close as 4,200 miles or as far away as 170,000 miles. The asteroid was to come closest to Earth at 1:42 a.m. ET today over the South Pacific Ocean.
(Source: Rob Waugh,Yahoo News UK, Image Courtesy of independent.co.uk)