An asteroid the size of a house flew past the Earth on October 12, taking a walk in lunar orbit according to forecasts. This allowed in real time to rehearse the action of the team to eliminate the threat of a space attack.
The event with the arrival of 2012 TC4 allowed us to test the prediction of the size and trajectory of the object, as well as to track the origin of a global network of telescopes and radars.
Management notes that the test run was successful, but some tools did not follow the plan. For example, the radar in Puerto Rico has been disconnected due to the actions of the hurricane.
The asteroid sped away at a distance of 44,000 km from the earth’s surface just above the plane of 36,000 km, where artificial satellites rotate. Scientists were able to predict that the length of the object will reach 10-30 m, but in reality it covered only 10-12 m. Also, a rapid axial rotation is shallowed every 12 minutes.
When will return
The asteroid reached half the size of a meteorite that exploded in 2013 over Chelyabinsk. The shock wave that had been formed blew up the windows of 5,000 buildings and injured more than 1,200 people. At that time, the event was unexpected. Now the system controls the location of such objects.
Asteroid TC4 spends 609 days on the orbital loop, so it will come back to us in 2050 and 2079. In the list of threats, he is still on the 13th position. It was first noticed 5 years ago. Researchers are going to follow him further to study the composition in detail.
The team insists on the importance of the space rock tracking system, as they believe that an asteroid of the same size as the one that destroyed the dinosaurs can return to us. For the time being, only evacuation to a safer territory is considered salvation.