'Lost' asteroid to pass closely May 15

Asteroid 2010 WC9 on May 10. Image via Daniel Bamberger  Northolt Branch Observatories

Asteroid 2010 WC9 on May 10. Image via Daniel Bamberger Northolt Branch Observatories

Asteroid 2010 WC9 will fly closest to Earth on May 15, at 6:05 pm EDT, when the asteroid will be just about 126,000 miles from Earth.

This would reportedly be the 2 time in thirty days for an asteroid body to fly at this proximity to our planet. 2010 WC9, EarthSky reports, is traveling at about 28,655 miles per hour-that's one-tenth the speed of a bolt of lightning.

Asteroid 2010 WC9 is an Apollo type space rock.

The flyby, expected to happen at 3:05 p.m.

While it's not by any means a doomsday rock, it's thought to be bigger than the Chelyabinsk meteor which left 1,500 injured in 2013 when it exploded over Russian Federation.

The planet, called 2010 WC9, wased initially spotted on November 30, 2010, by the Catalina Skies Study in Arizona.

Asteroid that could be longer compared to a football area will certainly quickly have a near-Earth experience as it will certainly zoom past the planet at regarding half its range from the moon. On May 8, 2018 - nearly eight years later - astronomers discovered an asteroid and gave it the temporary designation ZJ99C60.

Experts anticipate that the 2010 WC9 asteroid could reach a brightness or magnitude of 11, so although it will not be visible to the naked eye, at least through telescopes pointed at the right place at the right time, it should be sighted moving in front of the stars.

He clarified, however, that there is no reason to worry about the nearby passage of the 2010 WC9 asteroid.

After finally calculating the asteroid's orbit, JPL revealed that next week's approach will be the closest that 2010 WC9 has made in almost 300 years.

"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", he added. The 2010 WC9 is arriving within about "0.53 lunar-distances" from our planet. 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. The Northolt Branch Observatories in London will be providing a live stream of the asteroid's approach from their Facebook page. This means that the close encounter on May 15 will be a safe one for our planet.

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