Lost asteroid to fly between moon and Earth tonight

Asteroid 2010 WC9

Asteroid 2010 WC9

Space rock "Asteroid 2010 WC9" will have a near-Earth encounter, about half the lunar distance, on May 15, media reports said. After several years of observation, the rock's orbit was mapped out, Space.com reported. It's passing closer than large asteroids typically do, but remember, when you're talking about space, "close" is a relative term. "Only very few objects of that size have ever been seen coming closer than the moon". However, 2010 WC9 could still do quite a bit of damage on a local scale if it were on a collision course with Earth (which it's not, for the foreseeable future).

"Then again on May 10, after it was identified as asteroid 2010 WC9, which had been a lost asteroid for eight years". Just recently, asteroid 2018 GE3 zipped by our planet and barely missed hitting it, and it was discovered only after it had already passed. The rock will whiz by at a speed of 28,655 miles per hour.

An asteroid of this size only passes this close every decade or so, making this a fairly rare occurrence. The space rock, dubbed 2010 WC9, is estimated to measure between 197 and 427 feet (60 to 130 meters), which makes it roughly as big as the Statue of Liberty, notes the Great Lakes Ledger. It was discovered by astronomers in 2010 who were a part of the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey.

"We plan to broadcast this asteroid to our Facebook page if the weather forecast remains positive".

Guy Wells, from London's Northolt Branch observatory, said: 'The broadcast will last less than 25 minutes, since the asteroid will cross our field of view during this time period. However, astronomers are unable to collect enough data to determine the orbit of the asteroid 2010 WC9 and was lost for seven years.

The asteroid won't be visible to the naked eye, but if you have a telescope it might be worth turning it towards the skies at midnight to see if you can spot it! Our display will update every five seconds.

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