As asteroid 2012 TC4 approaches earth and conspiracy theories run amok, one site is giving the opportunity to actually watch the celestial event. The house-sized asteroid is scheduled to be at the closest point to the earth at about 8 pm, EDT tonight.
The astronomy broadcasting service Slooh will air a webcast at 8 p.m. EDT tonight (0000 GMT on October 12) focused on the space rock 2012 TC4, which will zoom by Earth just a few hours later. You can watch the show directly on Slooh’s website, but courtesy of Slooh, you can also watch the webcast on Space.com.
2012 TC4 has fascinated scientists and conspiracy theorists alike. Slooh says:
“On Wednesday, October 11th at 5 PM PDT | 8 PM EDT | 00:00 UTC (International Times), Slooh will live stream Asteroid 2012 TC4’s close approach to Earth, as it passes the planet at an estimated distance of 31,000 miles (just an eighth of the distance between our planet and the moon). Asteroid 2012 TC4 is no stranger to close encounters: in 2012, the asteroid stunned observers on Earth as it plunged to only 94,000 kilometers above our atmosphere, just a week after its discovery by the PanSTARRS observatory in Hawaii.
“And now it’s back. On October 12th 2017, 2012 TC4 will once again fly by Earth on a super-close trajectory. At the moment of the asteroid’s approach, Slooh will train its telescopes on 2012 TC4 in an attempt to capture the fast-moving space rock as it passes between Earth and the Moon. Commentary from our asteroid experts will explore the threat they pose to our planet, both in reality and in the human imagination. We will be interviewing two Sparks and Honey cultural forecasters who will share their insights on the current trending of space in popular culture from their report, “Exploration Innovation Brought Down to Earth,” and the role they believe asteroids will play in the perhaps not-so-distant future.
“Viewers can use the hashtag #slooh to ask questions during the show.” –Space.com
Astronomers estimate 2012 TC4 to be 39 feet to 89 feet (12 to 27 meters) wide. That puts it in the same general size class as the object that exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in February 2013, injuring more than 1,000 people.
But scientists want to assure those who are a little anxious that there’s no danger of an impact by 2012 TC4 on this pass. Astronomers stress this after conspiracies surface saying an impact is possible. But don’t let that fool you either. The space rock will get eerily close; a little to close for comfort even, coming within a mere 31,200 miles (50,200 kilometers) of Earth’s surface at 1:42 a.m. EDT (0542 GMT) on Thursday, according to the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, which is based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
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Contributed by Dawn Luger of The Daily Sheeple.