Asteroid the Size of City Block to Pass Earth Today

Asteroid 2010 WC9

The asteroid, which is officially named 2010 WC9, will be at its closest to the Earth at 6:05 pm EDT this evening. The jumbo jet-sized space rock is set to skim by Earth on Tuesday night.

While we don't typically see astroids fly that close to the Earth's surface, it's not an uncommon occurrence. Then they realized it was asteroid 2010 WC9, returning. This is going to be the closest encounter with the asteroid in the last 300 years. They just found it.

According to EarthSky, it's traveling at speeds of more than 28,600 miles per hour.

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Space stone "Asteroid 2010 WC9" will have a near-Earth experience, roughly half the lunar space, now media reports stated. While there is no reason for concern about it hitting the Earth - NASA has determined that it poses no threat - it will be one of the closest passes of an asteroid this size yet observed. The space rock was only recently rediscovered. 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.

Discovered on November 30, 2010 by the Catalina Sky Survey, Arizona, specialized in the detection of this type of objects, it had disappeared from the radar after ten days, as it went away and became too dim to be observed.

"The broadcast will be less than 25 minutes in duration, as the asteroid will cross our field of view within that period of time", he added.

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Now, 2010 WG9 is tracking to pass us on May 15, at a distance of over 200,000 km, or just over 50 per cent the distance to the Moon. The asteroid will proceed pretty quickly (30 minutes of arc per second). 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, of course, collect astrometric data while this happens, but the movement of the asteroid will occur every five seconds".

Astronomers hope to further observe asteroid 2010 WC9 in order to better refine its orbit.

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