Football Field-sized Asteroid To Zip By Earth

2010 WC9 Asteroid Will Whiz Close To Earth On May 15th

Asteroids the size of 2010 WC9 collide with our planet once every 6,000 years according to astronomers, and now, there are no known asteroids known to be on a collision course with the earth. After several years of observation, the rock's orbit was mapped out, Space.com reported.

The giant asteroid, around the size of the Statue of Liberty, will track a peculiar path and fly between Earth and its natural satellite. However, the asteroid has now paid a visit after eight long years on 8 May this year and its activity had initially made the researchers suspicious.

The 2018 GE3 asteroid was discovered just one day before it skimmed past Earth in what scientists called a "surprise" flyby.

NASA said it is travelling at a speed of more than 28,000mph and is set to skim out planet at 11.05pm.

The distance between the Earth and the space rock "Asteroid 2010 WC9" will be at approximately half that of the lunar distance. The space rock was only recently rediscovered.

NASA says it'll be the closest asteroid of its size in almost 300 years.

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.

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It's not our first encounter with the asteroid, known as 2010 WC9.

The asteroid was first spotted by the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona on November 30, 2010 but then became too faint to see.

The asteroid will come close enough that it will be visible to anyone with a small telescope, should the weather permit.

Thanks to Northolt Branch Observatories, you can actually watch it while flying.

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 proceed pretty quickly (30 minutes of arc per second).

As NBC's David Freeman writes, asteroids of 2010 WC9's size shouldn't be too much cause for concern as they're only thought to make contact with our planet just once every 6,000 years. Our display will update every five seconds.

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