22 May 2018

Huge asteroid is heading to Earth

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Heads up, an asteroid is hurtling towards Earth.

But have no fear… Nasa is set to use the moment to test their planetary defense system. reports citing Metro agency, The 100-feet-wide solid piece of celestial rock is set to pass our planet on October 12.

Dubbed ‘2012 TC4’ it is estimated that the asteroid will miss us by just 4,200 miles.

Michael Kelley, a program scientist, said: ‘Scientists have always appreciated knowing when an asteroid will make a close approach to and safely pass the Earth because they can make preparations to collect data to characterize and learn as much as possible about it.

‘This time we are adding another layer of effort, using this asteroid flyby to test the worldwide asteroid detection and tracking network, assessing our capacity to work together in response to finding a potential real asteroid threat.’

First spotted in 2012, the asteroid worried people who thought the Mayan ancient civilization had predicted the end of the world.

However, it has been floating way out of our orbit since then.

Professor Vishnu Reddy said she is hoping the event is treated as an opportunity.

She said: ‘This is a team effort that involves more than a dozen observatories, universities, and labs across the globe so we can collectively learn the strengths and limitations of our near-Earth object observation capabilities.

‘This effort will exercise the entire system, to include the initial and follow-up observations, precise orbit determination, and international communications.’

2017.08.01 / 17:32
Isko Babazade
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