DescriptionAsteroid the size of a HOUSE: to travel the Earth to an eighth of the distance of the Moon.A home-size asteroid will pass very close to Earth later this month, giving scientists the opportunity to test their planetary defense system. The asteroid, known as TC4 2012, was first discovered by the Pan-STARRS observatory in Hawaii in 2012, but its orbit meant it could not be traced. Early observations indicated that it could reach as close as 4,200 miles from the earth's surface - well into the ring of geostationary satellites - on Oct. 12.However, new observations of the Southern Observatory's Great Telescope in Chile reveal that it will lose our planet for 27,000 miles, about one-eighth of the distance to the Moon, which remains very close in astronomical terms. The asteroid is estimated to be between 30 and 100 feet 10 to 30 feet in size, and is traveling at about 30,000 mph 14 kilometers per second.If an asteroid of this size were to enter our atmosphere, it would have a similar effect to the Chelyabinsk meteorite, which exploded in an air blast over the Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia, in February 2013. The meteorite generated a brilliant flash and produced a hot cloud of dust and gas. Most of the energy of the object was absorbed by the atmosphere, but some witnessed intense heat of the fireball.