Asteroid passes close to earth today

(CNN) – A small asteroid thought to be only 50 to 100 feet in size is passing close to earth Thursday.

According to NASA scientists, the rock will zoom by at a distance of approximately 26,000 miles with no risk of impact with earth.

NASA said that the asteroid’s distance from earth when it safely passes by will be a little over one-tenth of the distance to the moon, just above the orbital altitude of communications satellites.

It will be very difficult for backyard astronomers to see because it will not appear very bright and will be moving very fast across the sky.

The asteroid, named TC4, was discovered in 2012 but asteroid-tracking telescopes lost track of it when it traveled beyond their range shortly after it was discovered.

Scientists were able to predict from its initial sighting that it would come back into full view in the fall of 2017.

According to NASA, its closest approach to earth was over Antarctica at 1:42 a.m. Eastern Time.

No known asteroid is currently predicted to impact earth for the next 100 years.

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