The Asteroid 2010 WC9 will pass very close to our Earth on Tuesday. In space terms, the space rock is very small, classified as a near-Earth encounter.
But when you hear that the Asteroid is actually as big as the Liberty statue, you would obviously get worried. However, we have nothing to panic about. The Asteroid 2010 WC9 will be at a half moon’s distance from Earth and it will not change its trajectory to crash into our planet!
Although it’s larger than the Chelyabinsk meteor which entered the atmosphere and broke windows in six cities in Russia, this asteroid will just graze past us. The Chelyabinsk meteor was 20 meters large (before entering the earth’s atmosphere). The asteroid 2010 WC9’s diameter is somewhere between 60-130 meters.
The Lost Asteroid
The space rock was dubbed as the ‘lost’ asteroid. That is because it was first discovered by astronomers in November 2010 and then in December they lost sight of it. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory explains more on the asteroid’s journey:
“The rock completed its orbit and is now hurtling back towards Earth eight years later. On May 15 at 11.05pm, it will make its closest approach at just 0.53 lunar distances (126,419 miles) from the planet.”
NASA’s JPL also said that the 2010 WC9 will not come this close to our planet for another 300 years.
Guy Wells is a specialist in observations of near-Earth asteroids and other small objects in the solar system (Northolt Branch Observatories – London, England). In an email, he stated:
“We are planning to broadcast this asteroid live to our Facebook page on the night of May 14, likely around midnight, if the weather forecast remains positive. The broadcast will be less than 25 minutes in duration, as the asteroid will cross our field of view within that period of time. The asteroid will be moving quite rapidly (30 arcseconds per minute).”
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere