asteroids

 

A house-sized asteroid with similar mass to a house has taken a close flyby to Earth this morning. Named as ‘2012 TC4’, the asteroid has passed with an extreme proximity to earth’s surface and astronomers are completely ready to frame this rare event.

As per the sources, the 2012 TC4 has almost missed the loop of communications satellites, which are revolving at 22,236 miles over the surface of Earth. It is identified as 2012 TC4, and it is expected to be 45-100 feet (15-30 meters) in size.

2012 TC4 made the nearest appearance to Earth above Antartica at 06:42 BST in the morning while passing the distance of almost 26,000 miles, which is a little more of one-tenth the distance to the moon.

The Pan-STARRS watchtower spotted the asteroid in Hawaii in 2012 for the first time, but its orbit meant that it could not from. However, the asteroid trackers predicted on the basis of observations that the asteroid may come back in appearance in the autumn of 2017.

Meanwhile, Spectators with European Southern Observatory and the European Space Agency were the first to capture the asteroid by one of their large 8-metre aperture telescopes in late July 2017, again.

The onlookers have been hunting the object since then, and whenever it approaches Earth, they report their observations to the Minor Planet Center. The researchers practised the near flyby of the asteroid as a chance to test the “worldwide asteroid detection and tracking network.” This is a missionary project formulated and directed by NASA-funded asteroid spectators and maintained by the NASA Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO).

The purpose of the plan is to boost the professional and amateur stargazers, so they can work together to recognize possible genuine asteroid-impact threats. If any similar asteroid size of 2012 TC4 would have entered our atmosphere, then it may be had the same impact to the Chelyabinsk meteor. The same meteor which exploded in Russia in an air burst over Chelyabinsk Oblast in February 2013.

The shooting stars produced a dazzling flash and created a hot cloud of gas and dust. The atmosphere absorbed the majority of the object’s energy, but some observers who were present at that moment felt the extreme heat from that fireball. While the first aim of NASA’s PDCO is to hunt possibly dangerous asteroids and comets.

The specific type of spacecraft is getting being developed named as DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test), the spacecraft would be the size of a fridge. It would be able to change the route of the asteroid if getting fired at asteroid with full force.

NASA is all set to test the DART spacecraft on a pair of asteroids named Didymos A and B; furthermore, these asteroids are planned to make the distant approach to Earth in October 2022. Meanwhile, little asteroids hit the Earth every day but the collapse of the bigger ones like Didymos twins can generate the serious problems. Therefore, this is the reason NASA wants to use those as the target for practice.

DART will have the onboard targeting system by which it will fly to Didymos B and collide with it at the speed of 3.7 miles-per-second. The impact would be visible from the watchtowers based on Earth.

Does it pose any threat to Earth?

The scientists said that although the asteroid does not pose any threat to Earth but still this close approach will help them to track its orbit and give them a rare chance to rehearse for a real-life asteroid which could enter Earth’s atmosphere and pose a threat to our planet.

NASA’s Mike Kelley, who leads the Thursday’s exercise to spot, track and intimately probe the transient visitor, said that there is no chance of collision, not even with the satellites. He informed that their research team has been observing TC4 for two months, so they have very accurate position information about it which will help them obtain very precise calculations of its orbit.

Normally, the bigger asteroids are tracked easily, and more than 90 percent of large asteroids have been catalogued till date. So, it’s the small asteroids that are difficult to track and are dangerous for our planet. For example, in 2013, a meteoroid, similar to the size of TC4, exploded in the atmosphere over Chelyabinsk in Russia and the resulting shockwave blew out the windows of nearly 5,000 buildings and injured more than 1,200 people. But 2012 TC4 asteroid is different. It was traced way back in 2012 and its one of those thousands of space rocks whose whereabouts are known.

But still, there are millions in space which are not traced yet. So, if scientists become successful in getting precise details about the TC4 asteroid and its orbit, then, we can be bettered prepared for any future threats possessed by similar types of asteroids. Also, as the TC4 is expected to return to earth in 2050 and 2079, hence, we can get well prepared to counter its danger in future, if any.

What NASA and ESA Say?

An asteroid with similar mass to a house is all set to take a close flyby to Earth in the coming month, declared NASA. The asteroid, named as ‘2012 TC4’ is going to pass with an extreme proximity to earth’s surface on 12th October and astronomers are completely ready to frame this rare event. The accurate proximity of the space rock to earth’ surface is yet to be confirmed by the NASA team. But as confirmed, the asteroid will have a safe distance from our planet, while passing.

Many teams of scientists from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and also from the European Space Agency (ESA) are equipping up to monitor the exact location and trajectory of this near-Earth object as it has not seemed since its discovery in 2012.The asteroid 2012 TC4 was detected by astronomers from the Hawaii-based Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS). With a mass of 33 feet to 100 feet or 10 to 30 meters, the asteroid was last seen in 2012, while taking its close flyby of the earth. Since then, it was missing from the global astronomical frame, and hence the astronomer community across the world is highly excited to see the asteroid again passing the earth.

How the Asteroid 2012 TC4 Detected?

The asteroid 2012 TC4 was detected by astronomers from the Hawaii-based Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS). With a mass of 33 feet to 100 feet or 10 to 30 meters, the asteroid was last seen in 2012, while taking its close flyby of the earth. Since then, it was missing from the global astronomical frame, and hence the astronomer community across the world is highly excited to see the asteroid again passing the earth.

2012 TC4

What’s unique in this asteroid?

The asteroid 2012 TC4 is one of the most detached and pale asteroids, be discovered over the last half decade. Since its discovery, scientists from NASA and ESA have been monitoring and tracking it with the help of a variety of powerful telescopes and other instruments, including the Very Large Telescope Observatory of ESA. With the aid of those focused telescopes and tools, NASA and ESA now have provided a clear-cut prediction bout the flyby of the asteroid to Earth. As disclosed by NASA, the asteroid 2012 TC4 will pass earth with an approximate proximity of 27,000 miles or 43,500 kilometres, which is nearly one-eighth of the distance of earth to the moon.

Previous Assumptions

Some earlier made observations pointed that the asteroid may come to approximately 4,200 miles or 6,800 kilometres close to earth during its latest flyby. However, denying the suggestion, NASA has confirmed about the safe flyby of the 2012 TC4 to earth.

According to the officials of NASA, the forthcoming flyby of 2012 TC4 poses no risk of any impact with earth. However, for ensuring complete safety and protection to our planet, astronomers will keep on chasing and monitoring the course of the asteroid all through the flyby. NASA with the help of International Asteroid Detection and Tracking Network is all set to monitor the activities and movement of the asteroid, confirmed its official.

A couple of months back, NASA also declared that the asteroid 2012 TC4 is going to pass with an extreme proximity to earth’s surface on 12th October. However, the accurate proximity of the space rock to earth’ surface is yet to be confirmed by the NASA team. But as confirmed, the asteroid will have a safe distance from our planet, while passing.

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