Asteroid Passing Earth Thursday Won't Hit Us—Yet

'Things do hit other things, and we’re not special in that regard'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2017 9:43 AM CDT
Asteroid Passing Earth Thursday Won't Hit Us—Yet
A rendering of asteroid 2012 TC4 passing by Earth this Thursday.   (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The Earth will be having a close call—astronomically speaking—when a 65-foot-wide asteroid buzzes past on Thursday, the Christian Science Monitor reports. According to AFP, asteroid 2012 TC4 will come within 27,000 miles of Earth—about one-eighth the distance between the Earth and moon and about 5,000 miles above most of the satellites orbiting Earth. There's no chance the asteroid will hit the Earth, but its proximity will be used to test an asteroid warning system.

2012 TC4 will make further passes by Earth in 2050 and 2079, and there is a chance it could make impact on the latter fly-by. "Things do hit other things, and we’re not special in that regard,” the associate director of the International Astronomical Union tells the Monitor. The asteroid is at No. 13 on the "risk list" of objects that could impact Earth. (Read more asteroid stories.)

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