The last few months of 2017 have been pretty good for anyone interested in astronomy. August presented the opportunity for parts of the world to experience a solar eclipse, which was awesome. A month later an even rarer event occurred when a type of lunar occultation that only occurs every 28 years or so obscured four objects in the night sky.
Now, during the early morning hour on October 12, an asteroid will make a pass by the Earth. Fortunately, our planet is in no danger of impact so you can enjoy the view worry free.
Asteroid 2012 TC4 was discovered by Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System in 2012 in Hawaii and previously buzzed by the Earth in October that same year. It is expected to come even closer on its pass tonight.
The space rock that's estimated to be 39 to 89 feet wide will pass within 31,200 miles of the Earth. To put that into perspective the moon orbits our planet at an average distance of 239,000 miles.
The fast-moving rock is expected to pass the Earth at approximately 1:42 a.m. Eastern time. In case you're interested in watching, Slooh, an astronomy broadcasting network will air it live via webcast that begins at 8 p.m. on their website.