As of now, it has been predicted that the earth faces no major asteroid impact threat for the next 100 years, which should a relief for those looking for space-based conspiracy theories.
That represents about an eighth of the distance between the Earth and the Moon.
Sure enough, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO) spotted it again during the summer via a large telescope in Chile and issued a statement confirming that it would pass Earth at a safe distance of approximately 26,000 miles, easing fears that it was going to get a lot closer than that. For example, in 2013, a meteoroid, similar to the size of TC4, exploded in the atmosphere over Chelyabinsk in Russian Federation and the resulting shockwave blew out the windows of almost 5,000 buildings and injured more than 1,200 people.
The resulting shockwave blew out the windows of almost 5,000 buildings and injured more than 1,200 people.
TC4 is being used as a test for a global asteroid pre-warning system, supported by a network of observatories, universities and laboratories around the world, to see if such rocks can be accurately tracked.
While the Chelyabinsk event caught everyone unawares, TC4 is one of thousands of space rocks whose whereabouts are known.
The asteroid's close approach will allow teams to evaluate how accurate they were in predicting its orbit and size, while using telescopes to learn more about its composition. "We are practicing for the real serious case".
Studies of this asteroid's light curve found that it has a rotation period of just under 12¼ minutes with a brightness variation of nearly a magnitude, which indicates that 2012 TC4 has a non-spherical (most likely elongated) shape.
This looping animation depicts an artist's impression of the safe flyby of small asteroid 2012 TC4 as it passes under Earth on the United Kingdom morning of 12 October 2017.
Futuristic projects mooted to deflect or destroy incoming space rocks have come to nought so far, and the only strategy would be to evacuate people in zones at risk.
Its closest approach to our planet will be over Antarctica at 1:40 a.m. EDT (5:40 a.m. GMT, 7:40 a.m. CEST, 10:40 p.m. PDT on October 11).