Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Asteroid as big as football field will fly by Earth

Asteroid 2010 WC9 on May 10. Image via Daniel Bamberger  Northolt Branch Observatories Asteroid 2010 WC9 on May 10. Image via Daniel Bamberger Northolt Branch Observatories
Sandy Nunez | 14 May, 2018, 13:43

They were unable to forecast when it will certainly return as a result of the absence of monitorings on its orbit.

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.

Experts anticipate that the 2010 WC9 asteroid could reach a brightness or magnitude of 11, so although it will not be visible to the naked eye, at least through telescopes pointed at the right place at the right time, it should be sighted moving in front of the stars.

An asteroid the size of a football field will fly by the Earth this week!

However, 8 years later, on May 8, astronomers discovered the asteroid and determined it as the loss of WC9 in 2010. The Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona first detected it on November 30, 2010, and astronomers watched it until December 1, when it became too faint to see.

On May 8, after almost 8 years, astronomers located a planet, which they ultimately found out was the returning 2010 WC9.

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Although it's larger than the Chelyabinsk meteor which entered the atmosphere and broke windows in six cities in Russian Federation, this asteroid will just graze past us.

NASA's JPL also said that the 2010 WC9 will not come this close to our planet for another 300 years. The space rock, dubbed 2010 WC9, is estimated to measure between 197 and 427 feet (60 to 130 meters), which makes it roughly as big as the Statue of Liberty, notes the Great Lakes Ledger.

Asteroid that could be longer compared to a football area will certainly quickly have a near-Earth experience as it will certainly zoom past the planet at regarding half its range from the moon. Although there is no risk of impact, this is one of the closest approaches of a space rock of that size.

Want to view the asteroid online? Northolt Branch Observatories in London will offer a live viewing of the asteroid on its Facebook page, starting around midnight (London time) on May 14.

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. This means that the close encounter on May 15 will be a safe one for our planet.

"We have discussed unusual objects 2010 with WC9 with EarthSky!".