Asteroid to shave past earth inside moon orbit in October

К Земле летит гигантский астероид- ученые

In July, NASA suggested the asteroid could squeeze in as close as 4,200 miles (6,800 kilometers), but the European Space Agency's latest estimates give us more breathing room. Scientists say the friendly neighbor will be flying by just far enough to miss geostationary satellites.

Luckily, it looks that humanity will live to fight another day because the asteroid will not whack into our planet.

The asteroid, which is about 15 m to 30 m long, first went past the Earth in October 2012, though it was at almost double the distance then.

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"We are certain that there is no risk that the object touches the Ground, so there is no danger of any kind", said to AFP Detlef Koschny, co-director of the segment Objects neos (Near-Earth Objects) of the ESA. It is about 15-30 meters (49-98 feet) long.

"It's damn close", Rolf Densing, head of Germany's European Space Operations Center, told AFP. Scientists had expected it to flit past the planet again this year, but did not know at what distance. This time, it has been found by the Very Large Telescope of ESO in Chile. "The farthest satellites are 36,000 kilometres out, so this is indeed a close miss".

Researchers for the various space programmes across the globe now have no planetary defence systems in place - they are focused on early warning - and at present ideas of protecting the Earth from an asteroid heading towards it remain in the realm of science fiction.

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"This time we are adding in another layer of effort, using this asteroid flyby to test the worldwide asteroid detection and tracking network, assessing our capability to work together in response to finding a potential real asteroid threat".

A 40-metre space rock that was slightly bigger than TC4 caused the largest Earth impact in recent history when it exploded over Tunguska, Siberia, in 1908.

In 2013, a meteoroid exploded in Chelyabinsk, central Russian Federation, injuring 1200 people and shattering the windows of nearly 5000 buildings.

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