Asteroid makes close approach to Earth early Thursday

Asteroid that just buzzed Earth may not miss on return visit

Asteroid that just buzzed Earth may not miss on return visit

An asteroid the size of a house narrowly missed Earth.

Asteroid 2012 TC4 was not visible anywhere in the world without a telescope. Astronomers lost sight of it for several years before observing it again in July, which is also when they calculated it would fly near the Earth's southern edge. NASA noted that the asteroid would not impact Earth, and the closest the rock came was when it passed over Antarctica at 1:42 a.m. ET on Thursday.

"Asteroid trackers are using this flyby to test the worldwide asteroid detection and tracking network, assessing our capability to work together in response to finding a potential real asteroid-impact threat", explained Michael Kelley, program scientist and NASA PDCO lead for the TC4 observation campaign.

NASA says it isn't aware of any asteroids that could pose a significant risk over the next 100 years.

Less than a day later, the asteroid is already on a journey away from Earth.

That's about one-tenth of the distance to the moon, and just beyond the orbit of Earth's satellites. So if it was a large asteroid, it would be something to be more concerned about, but even if it had entered the Earth's atmosphere last night, it likely would've burned up before it struck the Earth.