Onrushing Asteroid Drill Just a Test, Isn’t It?

NASA is keeping a very close eye on a small asteroid that will fly by Earth in October, saying it’s tracking the hurtling space rock as a test of a new planetary defense system, Fox News reported.

Space agency scientists have assured the public that the asteroid, estimated to be between 30 and 100 feet wide, will fly safely past Earth and will provide an ideal opportunity to “test NASA’s network of observatories and scientists who work with planetary defense.”

NASA said the asteroid, 2012 TC4, had been out of range of telescopes since 2012 and would pass the Earth’s surface no closer than around 4,200 miles on Oct. 12.

News of testing the planetary defense system, however, has resulted in some speculation about the possibility the asteroid could impact Earth.

Astrowatch.net spoke to Judit Györgyey-Ries, an astronomer at the University of Texas’ McDonald Observatory, who said 2012 TC4 was



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