'Lost' asteroid to pass closely May 15

Asteroid 2010 WC9 on May 9. Image via Daniel Bamberger  Northolt Branch Observatories

On May 8, astronomers spotted the asteroid and gave it a new name before realizing it was 2010 WC9. However, the asteroid has now paid a visit after eight long years on 8 May this year and its activity had initially made the researchers suspicious. It will come within 126,419 miles of Earth - the closest it has come to our planet in 300 years - though it is still considered a safe passing distance.

Scientists are paying close attention to a fairly large asteroid that will soon pass through the earth.

In February of 2018 in Russian Federation offered for United States dollars 210 billion to create a fusion megarocket to repel the attack from outer space (asteroid defense weapon). Since there wasn't enough observational data to calculate its full orbit and predict its return, astronomers moved on to other space objects and the matter of 2010 WC9 was closed. NASA says that this will be the closest approach of this asteroid in nearly 300 years. Estimates of asteroid 2010 WC9's diameter range from 197 to 427 feet (60-130 meters); estimates of the Chelyabinsk meteor's size before encountering Earth's atmosphere center around 65 feet (20 meters). The 2010 WC9 would reportedly be at the closest distance to our planet at near about "6.05 p.m".

The asteroid will fly over the earth at a staggering 28,000 miles per hour and it will be between 60 and 130 meters.

Daniel Bamberger, also at Northolt Branch Observatories, sent along the two images below.


"If you want to watch an asteroid from the couch, you can do this too: we plan to broadcast from the telescope on the night of May 14 (closest to the day before approaching) as long as the weather allows!"

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

Scientists say that Asteroid 2010 WC9 was "lost" and then found.

"The asteroid will be moving quite rapidly (30 arc seconds per minute). Our display will update every five seconds", Guy Wells, the founding member of the observatory, told EarthSky. The asteroid can be observed even in a small telescope.

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