Earth had a close call with an asteroid today

Photo courtesy of NASA

Earth had a close call with an asteroid today.

According to NASA at 1:40 AM the asteroid named 2012 TC4 passed close by earth. The small asteroid posed no risk to earth as it was not expected to collide with our planet, but it did pass close by.

2012 TC4 passed by earth at an approximate distance of 26,000 miles. To put it in perspective that about 1/10th of the distance to the moon and it flew just above the orbital altitude of communication satellites.

While it safely passed by earth it flew very close. The encounter with the asteroid is being used by scientists around the world to test the ability of operate a coordinated International Asteroid Network according to NASA.

Asteroid 2012 TC4 was discovered 5 years ago in 2012 by the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System which is stationed on Hawaii. Shortly after being discovered the asteroid passes out of range of asteroid-tracking telescopes.

During the short time the asteroid was visible asteroid trackers predicted that it would come back into view in the fall of 2017 after orbiting the sun.

2012 TC4 is a small asteroid it was estimated to be 45 to 100 feet wide. Earlier in the year in September a much larger asteroid passed by earth.

Scientist around the world used 2012 TC4’s close passage to study asteroids as well as a potential warning system.

NASA says no known asteroid is currently predicted to impact earth in the next 100 years.

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