Asteroid the size of a house approaching Earth

Asteroid the size of a house approaching Earth

Asteroid the size of a house approaching Earth

A small asteroid is scheduled to safely pass by Earth tomorrow at a distance of about 42,000 kilometres, allowing trackers around the world to test their ability to operate as an worldwide asteroid warning network.

An expert has predicted the asteroid won't hit the Earth in 2050, however it could be on a collision course in 2079. "After that, it becomes possible it could get very close and given the uncertainty of its trajectory you could have a potential impact further down the scale, it's just one of many reasons why the work being done by tracking stations and observatories is so crucial, he explained", Glenn concluded. Eastern Time Thursday morning, October 12.

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In regards to this, the fly-by will allow astronomers to test an worldwide asteroid warning network made up of observatories and scientists to help develop plans for what to do in the face of a real threat.

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. The asteroid is at No. 13 on the "risk list" of objects that could impact Earth.

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However, "something the size of a car" hits Earth every few years, Gareth Williams, associate director of the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, told The Monitor. "These are grains of sand". The Chelyabinsk meteor exploded about 12 miles over Russian Federation with about 30 times more power than the nuclear bomb over Hiroshima in 1946.

The asteroid, 2012 TC4, is about 9x30 metres in size - nowhere near the size of the 9.6km rock that is believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs. It will be a good opportunity for people to capture images of the asteroid using telescopes.

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