A small Apollo-class asteroid named 2012 TC4 will safely flyby Earth at 06:07 UTC ( ± 02:51) on October 12, 2017. 12:07 AM MT, 1:07 AM CT, 2:07 ET Oct 13th.
Even though scientists cannot yet predict exactly how close it will approach, they are certain that the asteroid will fly by at a safe distance from our planet.
This asteroid has not been seen since the week it was discovered in October 2012, when it sped past Earth at about one-fourth the distance from Earth to the moon. Estimated to be only 30 to 100 feet (10 to 30 meters) in size, the asteroid has been too distant and too faint to be detected over the last five years.
“We know the orbit of 2012 TC4 well enough to be certain that it won’t hit Earth,” said Paul Chodas, manager of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
The asteroid is listed at a condition code 5 with the condition code indicating just how certain they are of its path…condition code 0 meaning “very certain” and condition code 9 meaning “not certain at all”. So with 2012 tc4 being listed at condition code 5 it could possibly come even closer.
During the close approach on October 12, the space rock will pass no closer than 6 800 (4,200 miles) from our planet, and more likely much farther away, as far as 270 000 km (170 000 miles) or two-thirds of the distance from Earth to the Moon.
Acording to AboveTopSecret who did the math for the close approach, .03ld equals 7158 miles…but we have to subtract the radius of the earth as well as the radius of the moon…earth’s radius 3959 miles…moon’s radius 1079 miles…which gives us a minimum miss distance of 2120 miles.
Most satellites are in low earth orbit which is a satellite orbiting below 2000 k, or 1242.742 between the radiation belt and the earths atmosphere. Just to give you a idea how close asteroid 2012 TC4 could come.
So you just might have a chance to see it.
After all it is much bigger than a satellite and we can see them when they fly over head.
Based on observations in October 2012 when the space rock missed our planet, astronomers estimate that its size could vary from 12 to 40 meters.
The meteor that exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in February 2013, injuring 1,500 people and damaging over 7,000 buildings, was about 20 meters wide. Thus, the impact of 2012 TC4 could be even more devastating. “It is something to keep an eye on,” Judit Györgyey-Ries, astronomer at the University of Texas’ McDonald Observatory, told astrowatch.net. “We could see an airburst maybe broken windows, depending on where it hits.”
“There is one in a million chance that it could hit us,” Detlef Koschny, head of the Near-Earth Object (NEO) Segment in the Space Situational Awareness (SSA) programme office at ESA, told astrowatch.net. He also tried to estimate the exact size of the celestial body.
“The size was estimated from the brightness, but we don’t know the reflectivity. So it could be smaller or larger, assume from 10 m to 40 m. A 40 m iron object would go through the atmosphere and make a crater; a 10 m rocky object would be hardly noticed.”