On Thursday, a roughly 20-meter wide asteroid dubbed 2012 TC4 will zoom past Earth in a close encounter estimated to be about 44,000 kilometres above Earth- just above the 36,000km plane at which hundreds of geosynchronous satellites orbit the Earth.
However, 2012 TC4 traveled out of the range of asteroid- tracking telescopes shortly after it was discovered.
Back in July, the approaching rock caused a brief flurry of speculation that an impact was imminent, before the European Space Agency issued a "calm down" statement. "Not even for satellites".
Though larger, this space rock isn't expected to come as close as the asteroid that exploded over Russian Federation in 2013. It wil likely return in 2050 and 2079 as it continually loops around the sun.
An expert has predicted the asteroid won't hit the Earth in 2050, however it could be on a collision course in 2079.
The space body is about 30-100 feet (10-30 metres) in size. TC4 is expected to approach the planet at a point south of Australia. "There are tens of thousands of objects that are known or tracked and nothing now poses any direct risk, but organizations like NASA and other space agencies around the world are working on plans for what to do if something is coming our way, so we have a better chance than the dinosaurs", said Glenn.
Scientists found this asteroid about five years ago when it had been at the twice the current distance away from the Earth before disappearing view.
Experts will find out how accurate their projections of size and distance were on Thursday, as well as study what the asteroid is made of. Helping to monitor similar asteroids and prepare for that planning is a process in which the CSIRO-NASA Canberra tracking station is set to play an important role after a trial of the Goldstone Solar System Radar, which allows scientists to investigate objects in space.
Normally, the bigger asteroids are tracked easily, and more than 90 percent of large asteroids have been catalogued till date.
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