Jumbo Jet-Size Asteroid 2010 WC9 Buzzes Earth Soon

Jumbo Jet-Size Asteroid 2010 WC9 Buzzes Earth Soon

It is estimated that the closest approach will occur around 6:05 PM EDT. According to orbit calculations made by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the May 15 close approach is the closest of this particular asteroid in almost 300 years.

We're about to have a close encounter of a rocky kind, but don't worry, the Earth is safe. Now, imagine the damage that could be done by an asteroid the size of a house entering the atmosphere at more than 45,000 km/h. Nearly eight years later, employees of the Observatory again managed to capture the asteroid. They lost it in 20 days and were neither able to determine the asteroid's complete orbit nor predict when it might make a comeback.

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

An asteroid the size of the American Statue of Liberty and a little less Italian the leaning tower of Pisa will fly past Earth on Tuesday, according to NASA.

A big asteroid is due to dart past Earth on Tuesday, coming at about half the distance between our planet and the moon. The space rock was only recently rediscovered.

The tracking and science website notes that this is the first time an asteroid of this size has come this close to our planet in about 300 years. You can also watch the webcast on Space.com, courtesy of Slooh. Talking about the asteroid Guy Wells of the observatory said, "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 arcseconds per minute). On May 8, astronomers spotted the asteroid and gave it a new name before realizing it was 2010 WC9. The object was first designated as ZJ99C60, but soon it was confirmed it was the lost asteroid 2010 WC9.

The asteroid was not be visible to the naked eye but those who do not have telescopes can still get in on the action via Northolt Branch Observatories, which was posting a live broadcast to its Facebook account.

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