Asteroid 2010 WC9 Making Among 'Closest' Earth Passes

15 May, 2018, 22:42 | Author: Courtney Reynolds
  • 'Lost' asteroid to pass closely May 15

The space rock is larger than the estimated size of the Chelyabinsk meteor before the latter hit Earth's atmosphere in 2013. The object will pass by at a close but safe distance from us. It began sharing footage Monday to allow viewers to observe the asteroid in space before it whizzes past Earth.

The Minor Planet Center indicates that 2010 WC9 is an Apollo type asteroid, just like the infamous Chelyabinsk meteor that exploded over Russian Federation in 2013, injuring around 1,500 people.

WeekFacts.com reported that the asteroid measures from 60 to 130 meters and moves at a speed of more than 28,000 miles per hour.

Asteroid 2010 WC9 is going to brush past Earth, roughly 126,000 miles away (0.53 lunar-distances), making it one of the closest approaches ever observed for an asteroid of this size.

A big asteroid is due to dart past Earth on Tuesday, coming at about half the distance between our planet and the moon.

It is being said that the space rock has completed its orbit and now comes back to the Earth.

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"There are many close approaches from asteroids, [but] most are very small", Guy Wells, an astronomer at the Northolt Branch Observatories in London, told Newsweek.

The asteroid 2010 WC9 was temporarily lost after it was spotted by the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS), a space project backed by NASA's Near Earth Object Observation Program (NEOO), in November 2010. When compared to other asteroids that have zipped by the Earth, 2010 WC9 is not a large one, although it's larger compared to the Chelyabinsk meteor, that was 65 feet long. The asteroid will be moving quite rapidly (30 arcseconds per minute). Viewers can also watch a live broadcast of the zooming asteroid on Northolt Branch Observatories' Facebook page on May 14.

'Our display will be updated every five seconds.

Almost eight years after astronomers lost track of the estimated 120m-long space rock, Asteroid WC9 is ready to come back in spectacular fashion.

"We are of course collecting astrometric data while this is happening, but the motion of the asteroid will be apparent every five seconds".

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