House-size asteroid set for near miss with Earth

House-size asteroid set for near miss with Earth

"2012 TC4 does not pose a threat to Earth, but because it was observed only briefly at the time of its discovery, its orbit was not very precise", Kelley said.

The space rock will zoom past at a distance of about 27,300 miles, which is an eighth of the distance from the Earth to the Moon, according to the European Space Agency.

"We know for sure that there is no possibility for this object to hit Earth", said scientist Detlef Koschny of ESA's Near Earth Objects research team. "That's the most important thing to say".

An asteroid measuring between 49 and 98 feet wide will pass within a few thousand miles of Earth on October 12, according to NASA scientists. October's flyby observations will help scientists predict its trajectory when it swings back by Earth again in a few years. It has been too faint to track during the last five years, but recently astronomers at the European Space Agency spotted the approaching space rock using the 8.2-meter telescopes at the ESO's Very Large Telescope Observatory. "The farthest satellites are 36,000 kilometres out, so this is indeed a close miss".

"As close as it is right now, I think this prediction is pretty safe. meaning that it will miss".

Researchers for the various space programmes across the globe now have no planetary defence systems in place - they are focused on early warning - and at present ideas of protecting the Earth from an asteroid heading towards it remain in the realm of science fiction.

Backed Syrian fighters advancing on Daesh from east, west linkup in Raqqa
The attack is the latest in a series of airstrikes carried out by the US-led coalition that also inflict casualties on civilians. The Syrian troops have already captured the western and southern countryside of Raqqa.

That particular blast injured about 1,500 people, and damaged over 7,000 buildings, and experts now say 2012 TC4 is 'something to keep an eye on'.

If an object the size of TC4 were to enter Earth's atmosphere, "it would have a similar effect to the Chelyabinsk event", said the ESA.

In 2013, a meteoroid of about 20m exploded in the atmosphere over the city of Chelyabinsk in central Russian Federation with the kinetic energy of about 30 Hiroshima atom bombs.

Based on predictions made at Nasa's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, 2012 TC4 will pass no closer than 4,200 miles from Earth, although it will more likely pass much farther away, as far as 170,000 miles (270,000 kilometers).

Densing, who has previously warned that humanity is not ready to defend itself against an Earth-bound object, said he would not lose any sleep, "not over this one".

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