WC9 Asteroid Will Whiz Close To Earth On May 15th

WC9 Asteroid Will Whiz Close To Earth On May 15th

They didn't have enough observations to track its orbit fully and so predict its return.

Space rock "Asteroid 2010 WC9" will have a near-Earth encounter, about half the lunar distance, on May 15, media reports said. On May 8, astronomers spotted the asteroid and gave it a new name before realizing it was 2010 WC9. Astronomers think that in spite of its dimension as well as range to Earth, 2010 WC9 will securely zoom past the planet.

However, an asteroid discovered earlier this month - ZJ99C60, spotted on May 8 - turned out to be a blast from the past as astronomers realized it was actually 2010 WC9 coming back after nearly eight years. "This asteroid was "lost" and then discovered again".

Compared to other asteroids, 2010 WC9 is not a large one but it is likely bigger than the Chelyabinsk meteor, which was initially estimated to be 65 feet long. This may make it larger than the Chelyabinsk meteor.

At 11:05 p.om on Tuesday, Asteroid 2010 WC9 will make its closest approach only 0.53 lunar distances (126.419 miles) from Earth.

Unfortunately for all you stargazers, the asteroid won't be visible to the eye as it flies past Earth.

WeekFacts.com reported that the asteroid measures from 60 to 130 meters and moves at a speed of more than 28,000 miles per hour.


"The broadcast will last less than 25 minutes, since the asteroid will cross our field of view during this time period".

"The asteroid will be moving quite rapidly (30 arc seconds per minute)".

Aside from its impending visit, 2010 WC9 is particularly interesting because it has an unusual story behind it. Astronomers are calling it the "lost" asteroid because it vanished from their sight for almost eight years. We are of course collecting astrometric data whilst this is happening, but the motion of the asteroid will be apparent every five seconds! The experts, not being able to completely comprehend the asteroid, again re-imaged it on 10 May and named it as 2010 WC9.

Bottom line: Asteroid 2010 WC9 will pass at about half the moon's distance on May 15, 2018.

Daniel Bamberger of Northolt stated on his Facebook page that the object has been imaged twice. Although there is no risk of impact, this is one of the closest approaches of a space rock of that size.

For those who would like to watch from the comfort of their own homes, Northolt Branch Observatories in London, England said that it will broadcast the asteroid live from its Facebook page.

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