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Asteroid 2012 TC4 to Buzz Earth on October 12

Article Updated: 23 Dec , 2015

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Asteroid 2012 TC4 as seen by the Remanzacco Observatory team of Ernesto Guido, Giovanni Sostero, Nick Howes on Oct. 9, 2012.

Asteroid 2012 TC4 will give Earth a relatively close shave on October 12, 2012, passing at just a quarter of the distance to the orbit of the Moon. Discovered by Pan-STARRS observatory in Hawaii just last week on October 4, 2012, and it will pass by at about 88,000 kilometers (59,000 miles) away. Estimates on the size of this space rock vary from 17 to 30 meters, but NASA has indicated they will have telescopes trained on the asteroid as it makes its near Earth flyby — closest approach is just before 06:00 UTC (2:00 a.m. EDT) on Friday. Radar measurements can provide more details on the asteroid’s size and orbital characteristics.

NASA’s Asteroid Watch has assured there is no chance this asteroid will hit Earth.

The Slooh Space Camera is providing live coverage RIGHT NOW (at the time of this posting) on Thursday, October 11th, live on Slooh.com, free to the public, starting at 2:30 p.m. PDT / 5:30 p.m. EDT / 21:30 UTC — accompanied by real-time discussions with Slooh President, Patrick Paolucci; Slooh Outreach Coordinator, Paul Cox; and Astronomy Magazine columnist, Bob Berman.

Viewers are in for a special treat as asteroid TC4 will be in the same field of view as the planet Neptune during Slooh’s live coverage.

According Astro Bob, at around the time of closest approach, 2012 TC4 will be sailing through the stars of Sagittarius at approximately one degree (two full moon diameters) every 5 minutes.

This asteroid will reach the magnitude 13.7 on October 12 around 02:00 UTC, according to the Remanzacco Observatory team of Ernesto Guido, Giovanni Sostero, Nick Howes.

You can see an animation of Remanzacco’s observations here.

A view of the orbital parameters of asteroid 2012 TC4 from JPL.

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38 Responses

  1. famg says:

    discovered just the 4th. of october and passing so close to our planet, so, when the real killer comes, there`ll be nothing we can do, right?

  2. briansheen says:

    Which constellations is this asteroid passing through?

  3. Will it mess with the gravitational pull of Uranus?

  4. Beth Miletti says:

    When the real killer comes they wont say a word about it.
    To much panic, looting, and riots.
    You’ll just see a bright light in the sky, a flash-bang, and a boom.
    And that’s it,,,might be just as well.

    • Keith Kaiser says:

      Well, since it was discovered on the 4th, and let’s say it was on a collision course with Earth, I doubt we would have just sat here. Our only chance would be to nuke it. Maybe it would work. Maybe it wouldn’t, but like I said, I doubt we would have just sat here and waited 8 days and done nothing.

      • betazoid says:

        Nuking it would do nothing but make us feel better about doing something. We don’t have anything strong enough to move something with that velocity at such a close distance. The only way to avoid a strike is to ID it years in advance and nudge it out of the way.

        Look at the history of Earth, it’s not a matter of if, but when…

    • EddieGin12 says:

      only if we can direct it towards a certain city I hate, that will remain nameless for now.

    • bbb says:

      ya because the government controls every telescope…the biggest news story in the history of earth would probably get leaked.

    • SoulLeviathan says:

      What about asteroid 2012 DA14? It’s been known about for awhile.

  5. Archangel says:

    Good to see somebodys looking out into space for the NEXT KILLERASTEROID!!!!!

  6. Leah West says:

    and this is just now being made news? But, we are not to panic because it will miss earth! Very nice……But with way the world is going with the economy, zombies, child kidnapping, raping and murders and random acts of evil going on all over the world on top of global warming, and tsunamis, and tornadoes and earthquakes….it seems fitting that we should have earth hit by an astroid and start over right about now…….bring back the caveman and dinosaurs.

  7. caliboy_21 says:

    Buzz by? More like hit us

  8. MOR AT ROVER SEES A UFO,2012TS4

  9. vance says:

    Roids ever hit Uranus? If so, I might suggest to you Preparation H.

  10. Chris Knipp says:

    We may have asteroid nail us in November. It depends on election results…

  11. Bill Seper says:

    It’s a measly 30 meters in size. Who cares? Snore….

    • Ken says:

      That’s the estimated size of the asteroid creating the mile wide Meteor Crater in Arizona, with an estimated equivalent energy yield of 30 to 40 megaton of TNT.

  12. doc forbes says:

    Somebody better call Sheldon Cooper and his Big Bang buddies! Oh my!

  13. hopefully it hits Joe Biteme in the mouth!

  14. Aqua4U says:

    So many rocks… so few collisions… thank cod!…..>}}}O>……

    SciFi short story subject:Rogue elements in our military decide that the best way to continue to economically dominate the world, is to ‘inconspicuously’ eliminate China. The plan is to hurl an asteroid at them! A robotic mission selects and corrals the desired stony asteroid. Then, using ion propulsion engines, the probe slowly changes the asteroid’s orbital path. Everything is going according to plan and calculations when unexpectedly the asteroid begins to out gas prodigiously….which further changes orbital parameters. By the time those new parameters can be determined and the new impact site correctly calculated… it is too late to do anything about it. The asteroid slams into Manhattan, right in the middle of Wall Street, during the morning rush hour……*

  15. yahoo-PMMQSMVCRYAVS5MU7HF34ZZ77E says:

    Seems to be alot of asteroids in the last 2 years…..maybe more then the previous 20….are these close calls just the begining of a larger shower…after reading these moronic comments….I hope so!

  16. Angie Geiger says:

    ok….I realize i’m new here…..but with the talk of asteriods and whatnot……whatever happened to Nibiru….Planet X??? Many years ago it was recognized by NASA….now….if there is any recognition at all, it’s ”a hypothetical planet”??
    Just wondering??…..

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