Taking advantage of the passage of the 2012 TC4 meteorite, NASA will try to practice the ability to confirm the orbits of asteroids in the universe.
Recently, NASA predicted a meteorite likely to strike Earth on 10/12/2017. Specifically, it is a TC4 2012 asteroid with a diameter of 30 m, and it will pass through Earth at extremely close distances – only 6,800 km (only 1/56 times the distance of the Moon).
According to a NASA spokesperson, this couldn’t be a better opportunity to test the “planetary defense system” – which is used to detect catastrophic capable asteroids on Earth.
“Science can predict when a meteorite will approach Earth and pass safely, using the data collected.” – quoted Michael Kelley, a NASA TC4 campaign expert.
“But this time, we want to use asteroids to re-test asteroid detection systems around the world, to reassess the possibility that we have indeed detected a meteor that is dangerous to Earth.”
According to Prof. Vishnu Reddy – campaign leader: “It is a great effort on the part of many famous observatories, laboratories and universities around the world. We can now collect data and assess the capacities.
We know that the TC4 2012 meteorite appeared for the first time in 2012. It crosses the Earth, but has been too far and weak for 5 years.
But this time, 2012 TC4 began to approach Earth, with enough distance to observe it with a large periscope. In it, experts hope the Earth’s defense system will help reduce error when predicting the approach distance of asteroids.
“It’s a perfect target for training, because we know the ability of TC4 to reach Earth, it’s just not exactly how it is,” said Paul Chodas, project manager.