This week an asteroid, estimated to be the size of up to 100 feet wide, moved past the Earth at a distance of about only 27,000 miles from the surface. While the huge space rock, dubbed 2012 TC4, came "damn close" to the Earth this time, it didn't collide with the globe. However, as per some experts, we might not be this lucky the next time.
The asteroid 2012 TC4 is expected to make close approaches to the Earth in 2019, 2050 and 2079, as per the scientists. According to a report by Daily Mail, experts opine that while the space rock is supposed to miss any collision with Earth in 2019 and 2050, 2079 may not prove to be so fortunate.
"We know today that it will also not hit the Earth in the year 2050, but the close flyby in 2050 might deflect the asteroid such that it could hit the Earth in the year 2079," said a mission analyst at the European Space Agency, Rudiger Jehn.
As per the report, the odds of 2012 TC4 smashing into Earth in 2079 stands at about one in 750.
This time during the movement, the asteroid shoved past Earth at a distance of around 44,000 kilometers (27,300 miles) from the Earth's surface, which was far enough to just miss our geostationary satellites, as per the calculations.
Rolf Densing, who heads the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany said, "It's damn close. The farthest satellites are 36,000 kilometers (22,400 miles) out, so this is indeed a close miss. As close as it is right now, I think this prediction is pretty safe, meaning that it will miss."
If the asteroid did hit the Earth this time it could cause a more devastating impact than what we had witnessed in 2013 when an18 meter (59 foot) asteroid hit the city of Chelyabinsk in Russia. As per the report, that blast had injured around 1,500 people and damaged over 7,000 buildings.