Published: Mon, May 14, 2018
Sci-tech | By Brandy Patterson

Asteroid 2010 WC9 to pass between Earth and Moon tomorrow

Asteroid 2010 WC9 to pass between Earth and Moon tomorrow

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.

Scientists spotted a football field-sized asteroid that is going to zip by our planet pretty soon. This means that the close encounter on May 15 will be a safe one for our planet.

"2010 WC9 will be brighter than 11th magnitude at closest approach, making it visible in a small telescope".

We imaged this object twice: First on May 9, when it was still known by its temporary designation ZJ99C60; then again on May 10, after it was identified as asteroid 2010 WC9, which had been a lost asteroid for eight years.

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2010 WC9 first noticed on 30 November 2010 using Kalinskogo sky survey in Arizona.

But the asteroid dashed out of sight and into the darkness of space by December, leaving scientists uncertain where it might be headed next. 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. Astronomers did not have enough information about 2010 WC9's orbit to keep track of it until it reappeared this month.

The space rock, dubbed 2010 WC9, spans around 197 to 427 feet and is expected to pass at about half the distance to the Moon (approximately 126,419 miles from Earth) on May 15.

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

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Although asteroids coming close to Earth are no longer unusual and scary, judging by the number of asteroids that have passed next to our planet's orbit just in this year alone, people still worry whether there would be an impact that could cause catastrophic consequences.

While it's not by any means a doomsday rock, it's thought to be bigger than the Chelyabinsk meteor which left 1,500 injured in 2013 when it exploded over Russian Federation.

News of its impending approach initially broke a week ago, the Inquisitr reported at the time.

You won't be able to see it with the naked eye, but the Northolt Branch Observatories in England will broadcast it live from their telescope on its Facebook page.

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"The broadcast will last less than 25 minutes, since the asteroid will cross our field of view during this time period".

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