It's Duck and Cover time!
By Mark Daymont
Space Center Educator
From The Space Center's Underground Bunker, Pleasant Grove.
While most of us were sleeping, a chunk of rock about 20 meters across zipped by Earth on its way around the Solar System. The asteroid, designated 2012 TC4 was estimated to pass by our planet rather close, at about 1/4 the distance from the Earth to the Moon, or about 96,000 kilometers (about 59,000 miles).
Time-elapsed picture of 2012 TC4. Picture by Remanzacco Observatory.
For more comet and asteroid updates, check the blog of the Associazionie Friulana di Astronomia e Meteorologia: http://remanzacco.blogspot.it/2012/10/close-approach-of-asteroid-2012-tc4.html.
Notes from the Command Bunker: This NEO, or Near Earth Object, demonstrates the need we have for continued research of Earth-orbit-crossing-asteroids. It was only discovered on October 7! What if we had also discovered that it was on a collision course with a major city? Write to your member of the House of Representatives and urge them to demand that Congress and NASA allocate more funding for discovery and analysis of NEO's.