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Asteroid 2012 TC4 live stream: How to watch huge rock skim past Earth

ASTEROID 2012 TC4 will whizz past the Earth overnight in what has been described by astronomers as a “damn close” miss. But how can you watch the asteroid fly past?

NASA expects Asteroid 2012 TC4 to shoot past the Earth at a distance of just 31,000 miles and could even come as close as 4,200 miles. 

For context, the Moon is about 384,000 miles from the surface of our planet.

Tonight’s passing will make 2012 TC4 is the first known asteroid to pass less than one lunar distance from Earth two orbits in a row. 

Scientists are now wary the bus-sized asteroid could smash into any number of manmade satellites that are orbiting Earth. 

Rolf Densing, head of the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, said: "It's damn close. 

"The farthest satellites are 22,400 miles (36,000 kilometres) out, so this is indeed a close miss.

"As close as it is right now, I think this prediction is pretty safe, meaning that it will miss."


Asteroid 2012 TC4 live stream: Watch the asteroid

How to watch Asteroid 2012 TC4 pass Earth

Unfortunately, the asteroid will not be visible to the naked eye and will require a telescope to be seen in person. 

The farthest satellites are 22,400 miles out so this is indeed a close miss

Rolf Densing of the ESOC

Happily, the entire spectacle will be streamed online by the robotic telescope website Slooh. 

The stream starts at 1am BST on October 12 (8pm EDT on October 11) and will have commentary and analysis from a panel of experts. 

Former ESPN and NBC Sports anchor Gerry Monteux will be joined by Slooh veteran Paul Cox and Astronomer Dr Paige Godfrey. 

You need to sign up as a Slooh member to access the stream, which can be found on Slooh.com


Asteroid 2012 TC4 stream: Slooh is streaming the asteroid online

The asteroid was first spotted on October 4, 2012 by the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System in Hawaii. 

Only a week later, TC4 stunned astronomers when it plunged just 5,800 miles away from Earth. 

A Slooh spokesperson said: “At the moment of the asteroid’s approach, Slooh will train its telescopes on 2012 TC4 in an attempt to capture the fast-moving space rock as it flies between Earth and the Moon. 

“We will have commentary from our asteroid experts and explore the threat they pose to our planet.”