A asteroid will safely pass by Earth on Thursday at a distance of approximately 42,000 kilometres, NASA has said.
The asteroid, which is estimated to be 15 to 30 metres in size, will pass just above the orbital altitude of communications satellites.
"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," said Michael Kelley, Program Scientist and NASA Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) lead for the TC4 observation campaign.
According to orbit prediction experts, the small asteroid poses no risk of impact with Earth.
This asteroid was discovered by the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) on Hawaii back in 2012.
However, 2012 TC4 travelled out of the range of asteroid-tracking telescopes shortly after it was discovered.
Based on the observations they were able to make in 2012, asteroid trackers predicted that it should come back into view in 2017.
Observers with the European Space Agency and the European Southern Observatory were the first to recapture 2012 TC4, in late July 2017, using one of their large 8-meter aperture telescopes.
Since then, observers around the world have been tracking the object as it approaches Earth and reporting their observations to the Minor Planet Center.
No asteroid currently known is predicted to impact Earth for the next 100 years, NASA said.
- With IANS inputs