Washington, October 12: NASA has predicted that an asteroid will safely pass by Earth at a distance of approximately 26,000 miles (42,000 kilometers). Though the asteroid is “pretty close” compared to normal distance there is not any chance to hit us. But Scientists are using this appearance of the small asteroid with bigger aim to test Earth’s international warning network.
“Asteroid trackers are using this flyby to test the worldwide asteroid detection and tracking network, assessing our capability to work together in response to finding a potential real asteroid-impact threat," Michael Kelley, program scientist and NASA PDCO lead for the TC4 observation campaign said.
Back in 2012 when the asteroid was discovered, the trackers predicted that it should come back into view in the fall of 2017. It was picked for the test as Scientists knew it did not threaten Earth, yet had some uncertainty in its path. Tens of professionally-run telescopes across the globe will be making ground-based observations.
The campaign is aimed at better near-Earth object observation capabilities. This effort is expected to exercise the entire system, to include the initial and follow-up observations, precise orbit determination, and international communications.