A massive #asteroid will pass near #Earth on #Thursday, according to The Guardian. It will be a good opportunity for people to capture images of the asteroid using telescopes. Asteroid 2012 TC4, 10 to 30 meters wide, is expected to pass between Earth and the Moon at a distance of about 27,000 miles from Earth.

The upcoming asteroid will fly over the Pacific Ocean at 1:42 AM ET. Scientists believe that 2012 TC4 would pass so close to Earth that its gravity could change the path of the asteroid's orbit. It spins once every 12.2 minutes, Sputnik International reported. The close approach will allow researchers to learn the composition of the asteroid.

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It is certainly an event that will be closely watched.

NASA is excited about upcoming flyby

NASA is going to test its planetary defense system on the new asteroid that could pose a threat to enter the orbit of the moon. Program scientist at NASA, Michael Kelly, said that the upcoming flyby does not pose any danger to the Earth and not even to its satellites.

Kelly also said that NASA has been observing 2012 TC4 for two months, so the agency has accurate and precise information about its orbit, and it would not cross Earth and its satellites. 2012 TC4 is also not close to the geostationary satellites deployed to boost the communication and navigation systems on Earth.

Scientists found this asteroid about five years ago when it had been at the twice the current distance away from the Earth before disappearing view.

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It was first captured by Pan-STARRS observatory in Hawaii in 2012 and then by Very Large Telescope in Chile in 2017, according to Sputnik International.

2012 TC4 could hit Earth in 2079

Rüdiger Jehn of European Space Agency said that asteroid 2012 TC4 completes a one day loop around the Sun in 609 days, so it is expected to return to Earth in 2050 and then again in 2079. He also said, "the close flyby in 2050 might deflect the asteroid such that it could hit the Earth in the year 2079." TC4 is the 13th object in space that poses a threat to hit the Earth, the Guardian wrote.

On February 15, 2013, a bus-sized massive meteorite (7000 tons) passed over Chelyabinsk in Russia, which is home for 1.15 million people. Around 1000 people were injured, and glasses of the nearby building and shops were smashed in the explosion. Researchers calculated the impact of the meteorite and concluded that it was 20 times more powerful than the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.