Friday, 16 November, 2018

Long lost massive asteroid to pass close by the Earth

2010 WC9 Asteroid Will Whiz Close To Earth On May 15th 'Lost' asteroid to pass closely May 15
Andrew Wong | 15 May, 2018, 22:48

The orbital path of Asteroid 2010 WC9 (white line) almost intersects with that of Earth (blue line) tonight just after 6 p.m. EDT. After several years of observation, the rock's orbit was mapped out, Space.com reported. "This will be one of the closest approaches by a "large" (~100m) asteroid ever observed", the Northolt Branch Observatories revealed. "We didn't know how close, but we had ruled out any chance that it would hit the Earth", the manager added.

Because of this, Asteroid 2010 WC9 was able to covertly drift through space for nearly eight years until astronomers finally detected it again last week. 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. Space rock moves through space at a speed of 28,655 miles per hour (46,116 km/h).

Unfortunately, the asteroid 2010 WC9 is not going to be sufficiently bright enough to be visible in the sky to see with the naked eye.

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Even if the actual size of the 2010 WC9 was close to the maximum estimate, the space rock did not pose a threat to humanity. The Arizona Catalina sky survey was first discovered on November 30, 2010, and astronomers watched until December 10, when it became too weak. Its return to the Earth is after eight long years. So if you are deeply interested in the space rock flybys, then you can tune into the facebook page. Coincidentally, this encounter occurs one month to the day after 2018 GE3, an asteroid of similar size, had passed at a similar distance, probably making these the two biggest objects to have brushed us so close in recent history.

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. The asteroid will be moving quite rapidly (30 arcseconds per minute). 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! Our display will be updated every five seconds.

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