Asteroid as big as football field will fly by Earth


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. The Arizona Catalina sky survey was first discovered on November 30, 2010, and astronomers watched until December 10, when it became too weak.

So, for over 7 years after, 2010 WC9 remained "lost" - an asteroid spotted only very briefly, so that accurately tracking its orbit is more hard - and it even had an entry on NASA's Sentry Risk table, which keeps track of asteroids that even have a remote chance of impacting with Earth in the next 100 years.

During this particular pass, 2010 WC9 will come within 126,419 miles of the Earth, or about half the distance to the Moon. It can be inferred from this that the asteroid would pass somewhere midway in between the moon and the Earth. This may make it larger than the Chelyabinsk meteor.

Astronomers hope to further observe asteroid 2010 WC9 in order to better refine its orbit. This isn't a particularly large Asteroid, it measures 197 to 427-feet. These space rocks keep flying by the Earth's atmosphere and one more is set to pass closely by the Earth on May 15. Although there is no risk of impact, this is one of the closest approaches of a space rock of that size. NASA says that this will be the closest approach of this asteroid in nearly 300 years.

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Individuals may see the scene online and that the observatories of Northolt Branch at London will broadcast it live.

The orbit of asteroid 2010 WC9.

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 proceed pretty quickly (30 minutes of arc per second). For those hoping to catch a glimpse of the asteroid, it will be visible with a telescope for some people. The effort goes on all the time, but on some occasions, the size, speed, and chemical composition of these objects make it extremely hard to observe them in visual wavelength.