Jumbo jet-size asteroid to give Earth a close shave

Ignacio Smith
May 15, 2018

It is now hurtling through space at more than 46,000 kilometers per hour, but there will not be any threat to the population on Earth during the closest approach at 6:05 pm EDT, EarthSky reported. In space terms, the space rock is very small, classified as a near-Earth encounter. "We didn't know how close, but we had ruled out any chance that it would hit the Earth", the manager added. Nevertheless, the 2010 WC9 would not cause any damage to the 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.

The asteroid is travelling through space at a speed of 28,655 miles per hour (46,116kph).

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Asteroid 2010 WC9, whose size is estimated to range between 197 to 427 feet, will pass at about half the moon's distance from Earth making the flyby one of the closest approaches for an asteroid this size.

A near-Earth asteroid is expected to buzz by the planet on May 15, and scientists said it's the size of a jumbo jet.

Asteroid 2010 WC9 is an Apollo type space rock.

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The catchy-named 2010 WC9 is somewhere between 200 and 400 feet in diameter, "as big across as a city block" according to Goddard Space Flight Center asteroid expert Dr. Erin Ryan.

The Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona first detected the asteroid on November 30, 2010.

Almost eight years after astronomers lost track of the estimated 120m-long space rock, Asteroid WC9 is ready to come back in spectacular fashion. The football field-sized asteroid is dubbed 2010 WC9. So if you are deeply interested in the space rock flybys, then you can tune into the facebook page. If you don't have a telescope to spare, amateur astronomers can watch a livestream of the event, courtesy of the Northolt Branch Observatories in London. The asteroid will move pretty fast (30 seconds of arc per minute). "Our display will update every five seconds", Guy Wells, the founding member of the observatory, told EarthSky.

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