The asteroid that will fly past the earth, will help scientists

The Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System 1 telescope on Maui's Mount Haleakala Hawaii has produced the most near Earth object discoveries of the NASA-funded NEO surveys in 2015

Asteroid 2012 TC4 came close - passing Earth at a distance of only around 44,000 km (27,000 miles), which is nothing in Universe terms.

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.

The asteroid, which is number 2012 TC4, first noticed five years ago.

No known asteroid is now predicted to impact earth for the next 100 years.

While the Chelyabinsk event caught everyone unawares, TC4 is one of thousands of space rocks whose whereabouts are known.

On its 609-day loop around the Sun, TC4 will return to Earth in 2050 and 2079, according to Ruediger Jehn of the European Space Agency's Near-Earth Object programme in the Netherlands.

NASA's Asteroid Watch says that no asteroid now known is predicted to impact Earth for at least the next 100 years.

However, scientists assured us there's absolutely no need to worry.

The asteroid hit that occurred in Hiroshima, Japan in 1945 was a tremendous one.

The close proximity of the asteroid, however, created an opportunity for the NASA Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) to test the growing global observing network to communicate and coordinate their optical and radar observations in a real scenario.

This kind of fly-by is quite common - about three objects in TC4's size range graze past at a similar distance every year.

As its name suggests, 2012 TC4 was discovered in 2012, by the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System in Hawaii.

The asteroid, 2012 TC4, is expected to sweep closest to the planet at approximately 1:42 a.m. EST on Thursday, Oct. 12, near Antarctica. "So we wanted to test how ready we are for a potential impact by a hazardous asteroid", he said. "We are practicing for the real serious case".

Scientists believe Earth will be hit again by a space rock of the size that wiped out the dinosaurs, though nobody knows when.

Futuristic projects mooted to deflect or destroy incoming space rocks have come to nought so far, and the only strategy would be to evacuate people in zones at risk.

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