Asteroid flying by Oct. 12 will come closer to Earth than the moon

Posted at 11:13 AM, Oct 04, 2017

An asteroid the size of a small house is going to give the Earth a close shave Oct. 12.

NASA has been watching this particular asteroid since it was first discovered on Oct. 4, 2012.

It even has a name — 2012 TC4.

The asteroid is between 30 and 100 feet in size, and NASA is certain it won't hit Earth, but they know it'll come close — closer than the moon ever does.

Current calculations predict 2012 TC4 will come within roughly 30-thousand miles of the Earth's surface. By comparison, the moon is a much farther 238,900 miles away.

NASA has only had a brief time to study 2012 TC4, roughly seven days when it was first discovered five years ago, and during this close call next week, they'll have another chance to study its orbit, shape and size.

Right now, astronomers know 2012 TC4 is an elongated and rapidly rotating, and it's probably made many close approaches to Earth in the past.

Next week will be another one.

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