House-size Asteroid `came closer to Earth than Moon` on Friday
An asteroid the size of a house passed very close to Earth on Friday, but there was no risk of it actually hitting our planet, according to scientists.
London: An asteroid the size of a house passed very close to Earth on Friday, but there was no risk of it actually hitting our planet, according to scientists.
According to Fox News, the asteroid 2012 TC4 passed just 59,000 miles - about a quarter of the distance to the moon - when it made its closest point, the Daily Mail reported.
The asteroid was discovered by astronomers on October 4 and is around 56 feet across.
“Small asteroid 2012 TC4 will safely pass Earth Oct 12 at just .25 the distance to our moon’s orbit,” scientists with NASA’s Asteroid Watch programme tweeted this week.
On average, the moon’s orbit is about 238,000 miles.
The asteroid is large enough to be seen by amateur astronomers using a small telescope, the website Spaceweather.com claimed.
Near-Earth flybys of small asteroids such as 2012 TC4 pass inside the orbit of the moon fairly often, Asteroid Watch scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California told Fox.
Past estimates by astronomers said that an asteroid about 460 feet wide (140 meters) would cause widespread damage on the planet.