Detected on October 5, 2012, Apollo asteroid, 2012 TC4, will be studied as it is projected to pass the earth
On its navigation towards earth, scientists decided to test the Earth’s cooperative response potential. Researchers have been tracking the Apollo asteroid 2012 TC4 for the last five years. They will be using it to study more than the space mass.
Although this asteroid specifically is moving slower than most, its trajectory is being mapped and followed. NASA scientists are intent to use the upcoming event to observe, make preparations and collect all sorts of data. In an effort, to learn as much as possible for various applications.
The Apollo asteroids are the fastest growing number of near earth objects totaling 8,810
The one known as 2012 TC4, is the instigator for a collaborative observation campaign. Inspiring a team effort involving dozens of universities, laboratories and observatories from around the world, researchers want to learn collectively.
What are the strengths and limitations of asteroid observation? Inquiry examining the entire system will include more than initial observations. However, follow up, and international communications will continue long after this baby passes.
Scientists also want to test how well all the observation points and crews communicate as a Rapid Response System. Essentially, that means they are using the asteroid to test how well we will respond in case of an emergency. The emergency would be the possibility of the rock hitting our planet.
Most agree it will pass no closer than 4,200 miles from the earth. Meanwhile, the proximity to earth and the gravitational pull might make calculations incorrect.
There is really no way to know
The earth’s atmosphere protects us from most of the debris floating around our solar system. Most sand, pebbles and small rocks burn up as they reach our atmosphere. Dissintegration is their common conclusion.
Evidently, there are some craters in the earth
There have been many meteorites reported landing on the earth. One was in the back end of a car, one was in someone’s kitchen, one was on a driveway. Each incident is documented. Nonetheless, the moon and Mars usually take the brunt of all space rocks. That explains all the craters on the moon’s surface.
After careful observation so far, studies reveal a light curve in the rotation of the rock. The estimated size is between ten to twenty meters. The rotation period is about twelve minutes and fourteen seconds. By measuring the number of rotations around an axis, we understand Rotational speed.
Furthermore, scientists are excitedly anticipating the upcoming star show and we should be too. It remains NASA’s responsibility to find, track, characterize and plan a response to any hazardous scenario. The Planetary Defense Coordination will be on alert October 12, 2017. If there is a threat of impact from 2012 TC4, they will be watching it.