back to article Cancel the farewell party. Get back to work. That asteroid isn't going to hit Earth in October

The European Space Agency has confirmed there is no danger of asteroid 2012 TC4 hitting Earth in October, despite what some panicky YouTube videos might tell you. The rock was spotted five years ago when it whizzed past Earth, missing us by 94,800 kilometres (58,900 miles). Last month NASA eggheads reckoned the asteroid may …

  1. psychonaut


    i'd ordered butt plugs and everything.

    1. Adrian 4

      Re: damn

      Maybe we could do one of those explode-the-nuclear-missile-on-the-asteroid tricks to get it back on course ? It would be a shame to waste the butt plugs.

      1. psychonaut

        Re: damn

        im not sure the ones i ordered were that powerfull

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          Re: damn

          > i'd ordered butt plugs and everything.


          1. Fink-Nottle

            Re: damn

            > WHY!

            He obviously doesn't know his asteroids from his haemorrhoids ..

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: damn


            Party on, dude!

          3. hplasm

            Re: damn

            "> i'd ordered butt plugs and everything."


            Brown trousers are still at the dry-cleaners...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It might be small......

    And no bigger than the Russian encounter. But if it did stray too close, and landed in the waters off Guam, or actually on the island, then, well......

    1. asdf

      Re: It might be small......

      I sure hope NASA and the USAF can tell the difference in trajectories. Now if it landed in North Korea might be a different story.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The main question is will the two men with the smallest penis's and biggest ego's have had their towel fight by then?

    When is Trump going to threaten the cosmos? Will the Norks fire some missiles into space as a warning?

    Maybe it's just me but could it be that all the people that did drugs in the 60's and 70's are now in power which is why everything's getting a bit batshit fucking crazy? Can't wait for the next 20 years, mullets and drugs will be compulsory.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >mullets and drugs will be compulsory.

      Isn't that already true in a lot of the backwater US south?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Those folk are forward for their time, come the apocalypse they will be the only survivors.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You have to know that things went VERY south starting with President Clinton, and gone souther ever since. Idiocracy is encroaching, maybe these asteroids are emitting waves, bad waves...

    3. Simon Clubley

      And in the UK we have Zelda running the country

      And here in the UK, we have a real-life version of Zelda from Terrahawks running the country...

      Surely I can't be the only one to notice the parallels between the PM and Zelda ? BTW, from what I remember, Zelda's plans for world domination were about as successful as the PM's are turning out to be.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And in the UK we have Zelda running the country

        +1 for Zelda

        I'm not sure we have a pm? not sure the last time I saw her give a shit.

        1. Fizzle

          Re: And in the UK we have Zelda running the country

          You SAW the PM giving a shit?


      2. Ralph76

        Re: And in the UK we have Zelda running the country

        Just wait till her protege "Young-Star" comes onto the scene... then we are doomed I tell ya..

    4. mrobaer

      RE: Norks shooting space

      Haven't they already done that?

  4. TheElder

    We are doing OK on the drug thing at least...


    1. psychonaut

      Re: We are doing OK on the drug thing at least...

      blimey.they might run out of "legal" pot but im sure i know a bloke who could help

    2. asdf

      Re: We are doing OK on the drug thing at least...

      Don't think pot was the problem being referred to. Seems to be more all the cheap opiates coming out of Afghanistan and China after the addicts can't go the legal route any more. Of course the only difference to the crack epidemic a generation ago is who is mostly affected.

      1. TheElder

        The cheap opiates

        Pot is not an issue. In fact in older people it may have some beneficial effects on the brain.

        The "opiates" aren't true opiates. They are highly synthetic and do not operate the same way that opium does (morphine, heroin). True opiates are hydrophilic. They are water soluble. Fentanyl and similar are lipophylic, they are fat soluble. Water soluble drugs diffuse into the brain through the blood/brain barrier slowly and are then degraded slowly.

        Fat soluble drugs are fast in and fast out. This makes overdose far more likely. The synthetics also do not activate the neurochemical receptors in the same manner although the main one(s) are much the same. It isn't just one receptor. There are about 8 IIRC and about half of them are not well characterized last time I studied in this area.

        I am considering becoming involved in the code for a hand held mass spectrometer they are developing at the University. It will be used to detect the fake opiates in just molecular quantities. I have worked with spectrometers in the past. I have also done scientific glass blowing.

        I really wonder just how long the opiate epidemic will last? At some point we should run out of addicts... Shallow end of the gene pool...

  5. LaeMing

    Aim is improving.

    First attempt: 94,800km

    Second attempt: 44,000km

    Third time is going to be the charm!

    1. Number6

      Re: Aim is improving.

      No, next one will be 6800km the other side. Close, but no cratercigar

      1. David Hicklin Bronze badge

        Re: Aim is improving.

        > No, next one will be 6800km the other side. Close, but no cratercigar

        You forgot the diameter of the Earth : at around 12,700km it should be pretty close to a bullseye.

        1. Number6

          Re: Aim is improving.

          True, I was using the centre as a reference but I guess if you miss by 1000km then that's spacing from the surface, not the centre.

    2. hplasm

      Re: Aim is improving.

      Third attempt: 12 Million Light Years.

      (Sorry El Reg- couldn't resist...)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Aim is improving.

      Anyone else old enough to remember 'The Golden Shot' and 'Bernie, the bolt!' ?

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Aim is improving.

        No, and Hillary did Bernie!

  6. Captain DaFt

    OK, so it won't hit us

    But mentioning Chelyabinsk, Didn't that one sneak in while we were watching another one?

  7. Potemkine! Silver badge

    "Cancel the farewell party"


  8. Myvekk

    "There was one planet off in the seventh dimension that got used as a ball in a game of intergalactic bar billiards. Got potted straight into a black hole. Killed 10 billion people."

    "What a waste."

    "Yeah. Only scored 30 points, too."

    Thank you Douglas Adams!

  9. Anonymous Coward

    It's getting annoying now

    I keep surviving stuff! Why! First able archer 83. Then Y2K, now this. It's starting to get frustrating. Oi Don! The fire and fury : bring it on. Dignitas is way too expensive for me.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: It's getting annoying now

      It's nice that you want some company in your suicide-by-nuclear-fireball. No-one should go alone.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: It's getting annoying now

        You are just living in the universe in which Schrödinger's cat lived to see another day of cat food.

  10. Alister

    Apparently Malcolm Turnbull released the following statement:

    "The laws of orbital mechanics are very commendable, but here in Australia, we follow the laws of Australia"

    So that's alright then!

  11. Rich 11 Silver badge


    However, the asteroid's orbit path has now been firmed up, and we're gonna be fine: it will skip past our fragile planet in October, missing us 44,000 kilometres (27,340 miles).

    That's a bugger. I really wanted to be able to take a close look at it.

  12. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    I guess it would be nice to land some sort of tracking beacon on it, and a sensor package while we're at it. Maybe space agencies should work on developing this capability. Most of it could be off the shelf or from leftovers or spare parts from programmes that got scrapped. Put a probe with the beacon and sensors in a parking orbit past the geosynchronous sats around Earth, or maybe in a Moon orbit. Probe would need a fairly powerful motor and a large tank.

    1. Francis Boyle

      Just send Bruce Willis up

      with a large bucket of whitewash.

  13. AbeSapian


    I was so looking forward to watching Mar-a-Lago go sput.

  14. David McCarthy

    Slap a speeding ticket on it's windscreen, and the next time it comes past we'll be able to catch it with a butterfly net.

  15. nickx89


    This save my time for tl;dr "The new observations reveal it will miss Earth by 44,000 kilometres (27,340 miles)."

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting headline photo

    The headline photo, if it genuinely portrays 2012TC4, indicates that its orbit is now sufficiently well known to allow the telescope to track it.

    In addition to 2012TC4, the photo also shows the trace of another body moving obliquely to 2012TC4. From the faintness and length of the trace I'm guessing it to be another asteroid (I think a satellite would be much more reflective and so quite a bit brighter), moving about twice as fast as 2012TC4 and so somewhat closer to us.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thats no


    (apologies to George Lucas)

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