Asteroid to ‘Narrowly’ Miss Earth

An asteroid passing close to earth

NAN/

Asteroid 2012 TC4 is set to just miss Earth, coming closest to the third planet from the sun at 0541 GMT on Thursday.

The asteroid, with a diameter of approximately 12 to 27 metres, is expected to miss Earth by about 44,000 kilometres, the European Space Agency (ESA) said on its website.

For comparison, the distance between the Earth and the Moon is about 400,000 kilometres.

Asteroid 2012 TC4 was discovered in 2012 from an observatory in Hawaii.

The close flight path will offer scientists “an excellent opportunity to test the international ability to detect and track near-Earth objects and assess our ability to respond together to a real asteroid threat.”

The next near miss from 2012 TC4 is expected in October 2079, when the astronomical rock has a one-in-2,645 chance of making contact, according to Ruediger Jehn of the European Space Agency.