A house-sized asteroid hurtling through space is expected to just barely shave past Earth this week, according to experts.
The space rock, dubbed 2012 TC4, will whiz by the planet at an altitude of less than 27,300 miles and squeeze past geostationary satellites orbiting earth with even less distance to spare, the Guardian reported.
The gap is equivalent to an eighth of the distance between the earth and the moon.
“We’ve now been observing TC4 for two months, so we have very accurate position information on it, which in turn allows very precise calculations of its orbit,” NASA’s Mike Kelley told the news outlet.
The asteroid, which is expected to brush past Earth overnight Wednesday and into Thursday, is speeding through space at about 30,000 mph and has brightened since it was first spotted nearly five years ago.
Still, Kelley — who is tasked with spotting tracking and probing the massive rock — said there was “no danger. Not even for satellites.”
While there’s little threat, scientists are keeping a close eye on the asteroid in an effort to prepare a defense against any future space rock or object that may crash into Earth. The outer space event is giving officials a rare opportunity to rehearse what steps would be taken in the event of a real-life strike threat.
Congress in 1998 and again in 2005 urged scientists to prioritize the study of near-Earth objects — also called NEOs — in an ongoing effort to find a way to prevent any collisions, Patch reported.
Experts have said any asteroid larger than a more than half a mile would trigger catastrophic climate change if it collides with earth.The TC4 asteroid is about 100 feet long.