Asteroid bigger than a football field will skim past Earth tomorrow

Orbit of asteroid 2010 WC9 via Asteroid Orbit View and Northolt Branch Observatories

Lost in space for over 7 years, massive asteroid 2010 WG9 has been found again, and is making a return flyby of Earth on Tuesday, as it passes within the orbit of the Moon. According to calculations at NASA, this will be the asteroid's closest Earth flyby in almost 300 years.

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.

However, 8 years later, on May 8, astronomers discovered the asteroid and determined it as the loss of WC9 in 2010. The asteroid remained hidden from view until just last week.

The asteroid, called "2010 WC9" is set to pass Earth today at about half the distance to the moon.

An asteroid that's estimated to be the size of the Statue of Liberty will narrowly miss Earth as it passes by the planet on May 14.

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However, this time, it's about a different space rock. It might get as bright as magnitude +11, which would make it bright enough to be seen in amateur telescopes pointed at the correct location and time.

A "lost" asteroid, at least three times the size of an object that burned up over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in 2013, is heading towards Earth in one of the closest approaches ever observed in such an object of this size.

2010 WC9 was first detected by the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona on November 30, 2010, shows the Center for Near-Earth Objects Study (CNEOS) at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

Astronomers hope to further observe asteroid 2010 WC9 in order to better refine its orbit. So if you are deeply interested in the space rock flybys, then you can tune into the facebook page. The asteroid will proceed pretty quickly (30 minutes of arc per second).

The observatories of the Northold Branch in London will telecast the event live to the millions of the people across the globe. "We, of course, collect astrometric data while this happens, but the movement of the asteroid will occur every five seconds".

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