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Asteroid 2012 TC4

has  skimmed the earth at a distance of around 4,200 miles, a mere cat’s whisker in astronomical terms. Earth has avoided another catastrophic asteroid collision. The space rock is believed to be bigger than the Chebylinsk meteor  which exploded above Russia, damaging thousands of buildings and injuring 1,500 people. Asteroid 2012 TC4 is estimated to be between 10 and 30 metres (30 and 100 feet) and but one of thousands of space rocks whose whereabouts are have been known for more than 5 years.  The house-sized asteroid was being watched carefully by astrophysicists as it gave Earth a close pass, 12th October 2017, travelling over Antarctica, and posing no threat, while giving experts a rare chance to rehearse for a real-life strike threat.

Earth has been struck by asteroids and meteors repeatedly over its 4.5 billion year lifespan, however the chances of a serious incident happening again in our lifetime are remote. The most famous event was the sixty mile-wide asteroid that struck the coast of Mexico around 65 million years ago and is thought to have lead to the extinction of the dinosaurs.

According to scientists there are no asteroids threatening Earth in the foreseeable future; nor in the next century. However millions of asteroids are not known about therefore it might be a good idea for all you star gazers to keep you head up and your eyes open.

Asteroid TC4

 

 

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