House-sized asteroid that came 'damn close' to Earth this week may not miss our planet on its return visit in 2079

Mail Online | 10/13/2017 | Shivali Best For Mailonline
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Yesterday, an asteroid estimated to be up to 100 feet wide made a close shave with Earth, as it soared past at a distance of just 27,000 miles above the surface – or, as some scientists have put it, 'damn close.'

The house-sized space rock, dubbed asteroid 2012 TC4, is about 30-100 feet (10-30 metres) in size, and flew by at just one-eighth of the distance between Earth and the moon.

Asteroid - Planet - Occasion - Experts - Future

While the asteroid missed our planet on this occasion, experts have warned that we may not be so lucky in the future.

During another pass in 2079, experts predict that there is a chance 2012 TC4 will smash into Earth, with odds of this happening placed at about one in 750.

Yesterday - Pass - Asteroid - 'close-approaches - Earth

Following yesterday's pass, the asteroid's next 'close-approaches' to Earth will take place in 2019, 2050 and 2079.

And while 2012 TC4 is expected to miss our planet in 2019 and 2050, experts say that in 2079 we may not be so lucky.

Rudiger - Jehn - Mission - Analyst - Space

Rudiger Jehn, a mission analyst at the European Space Agency, said: 'We know today that it will also not hit the Earth in the year 2050, but the close flyby in 2050 might deflect the asteroid such that it could hit the Earth in the year 2079.'

The odds of an impact 62 years from now are now placed at about one in 750.

Yesterday - Approach - Nasa - Opportunity - Network

During yesterday's close approach, Nasa had the opportunity to test its network of observatories for its planetary defense system, in the event an asteroid did actually hit Earth.

The space agency is yet to confirm that it was able to test the system.

Asteroid - Dr - Michael - Kelly - Scientist

Speaking before the asteroid passed by, Dr Michael Kelly, a scientist working on the Nasa TC4 observation campaign, said: 'Scientists have always appreciated knowing when an asteroid will make a close approach to and...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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