130m-wide Lost asteroid to zoom past Earth today

130m-wide Lost asteroid to zoom past Earth today

130m-wide Lost asteroid to zoom past Earth today

During its closest approach at 6:05 p.m. EDT on May 15, 2010 WC9 will be at 0.53 lunar-distances from Earth. "Only very few objects of that size have ever been seen coming closer than the moon". "But it is larger than the estimated size of the Chelyabinsk meteor, which entered Earth's atmosphere, breaking windows in six Russian cities and causing some 1,500 people to seek medical attention, in 2013". On May 8 of this year, astronomers discovered it once again, and this time, it was close enough to determine its orbit, Popular Mechanics reports. The rock will whiz by at a speed of 28,655 miles per hour.

Asteroid 2010 WC9 is projected to be between 125 feet and 390 feet wide, according to Space.com, and astronomers reported that the rock will pass the Earth by only 126,000 miles.

What that means is that the asteroid was passing by Earth at about half the distance between the moon and Earth.

Asteroid 2010 WC9 is an Apollo type space rock.

NASA says it'll be the closest asteroid of its size in almost 300 years.


Thanks to Northolt Branch Observatories, you can actually watch it while flying.

2010 WC9 was first detected by the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona on November 30, 2010, shows the Center for Near-Earth Objects Study (CNEOS) at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The broadcast will last less than 25 minutes since the asteroid will cross our field of view during this period.

Orbit diagram for the near-Earth asteroid 2010 WC9, which will fly by Earth on May 15, 2018. The asteroid will proceed pretty quickly (30 minutes of arc per second).

This asteroid is too small to be visible to the naked eye, but it can nevertheless already be seen on a video made by Northolt Branch Observatories, located in London.

Nearly eight years later, on May 8, astronomers managed to track down the asteroid, and after close observations they concluded it was 2010 WC9 that had returned. "We, of course, collect astrometric data while this happens, but the movement of the asteroid will occur every five seconds", Guy Wells said in a press release.

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