WC9 Asteroid Will Whiz Close To Earth On May 15th

An asteroid referred to as Asteroid 2010 WC9 will pass by the Earth at a distance of half the lunar distance. The asteroid 2010 WC9's diameter is somewhere between 60-130 meters. Although there is no risk of impact, this is one of the closest approaches of a space rock of that size.

Nearly eight years later, astronomers realized that an asteroid they temporarily called ZJ99C60 was actually 2010 WC9 returning. The 2018 GE3 asteroid was discovered just one day before it skimmed past Earth in what scientists called a "surprise" flyby.

The asteroid is expected to whiz past Earth at 6:05 p.m. E.T. on Tuesday, May 15. "We didn't know how close, but we had ruled out any chance that it would hit the Earth", Paul Chodas, manager of the Center for Near Earth Object Studies at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told CBC News.

Although 2010 WC9 is hurtling towards us at an incredible speed of 28,655 miles per hour (46,116 km/h), it's unlikely that the asteroid will change its trajectory.

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The rock completed its orbit and is now hurtling back towards Earth eight years later. "If it doesn't improve then we will make a post with old images, and provide alternatives where you might see live views of 2010 WC9 at later times", NBO explained in a Facebook post, adding that they would start posting live images Monday night.

The asteroid will come close enough that it will be visible to anyone with a small telescope, should the weather permit.

An asteroid the size of the Statue of Liberty will zoom past Earth on Tuesday.

"Our Astrometric information while this occurs, but the motion of the asteroid will happen every five minutes", explained Wells. If you do not have a telescope and still enthused about watching the rock fall by, then there is a live streaming from Northholt Branch Observatories in London. But, persons wishing to see the asteroid can tune in to Slooh, the astronomy broadcasting service beginning at 4 pm Alaska time. The asteroid will proceed pretty quickly (30 minutes of arc per second). Our display will be updated every five seconds.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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