An asteroid larger than the size of a cricket field just flew past Earth from a safe distance. As per the reports, the asteroid dubbed 2010 WC9 made the closest approach to Earth at 6:05 p.m. EDT at a distance of about 126,000 miles which is nearly half the distance between our planet and its moon. Moving faster than a bullet, the asteroid measuring nearly 130 metres in diameter whiz past Earth at speed of 29,000 miles per hour.
The asteroid went past Earth without causing any harm. “We knew enough not to be worried,” said Dr. Paul Chodas, director of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. An asteroid roughly the size of 2010 WC9 collides with Earth only about once every 6,000 years, Chodas said. “There are no objects that have been identified that are known to be on a collision course with Earth.”
As The TeCake previously reported, this long-lost asteroid was initially spotted by the “Catalina Sky Survey at the University of Arizona” on 30th November back in the year 2010. It was watched over till December 2010 after which it became faint. After a few weeks, the scientists lost track of the asteroid. However, the asteroid has now paid a visit after eight long years on 8th May this year and its activity had initially made the researchers suspicious.
As per the latest reports, the asteroid would not hit the Earth. The 2010 WC9 is arriving within about “0.53 lunar-distances” from our planet. It can be inferred from this that the asteroid would pass somewhere midway in between the moon and the Earth.
The object was reportedly imaged twice. It was initially imaged on 9th May when it was temporarily called ZJ99C60. The experts, not being able to completely comprehend the asteroid, again re-imaged it on 10th May and named it as 2010 WC9. The asteroid 2010 WC9 of “18th magnitude” appears to be faint. However, it is rapidly brightening and is expected to get even brighter than eleventh magnitude when it is at the closest distance to the Earth.
This would reportedly be the 2nd time in thirty days for an asteroid body to fly at this proximity to our planet. On 15th April, an asteroid body known as 2018 GE3 was seen flying past the Earth from around 119,500 miles.
As per the experts, the asteroid 2010 WC9 is even larger than that of the “Chelyabinsk meteor” that had injured near about one thousand people and had wrecked glasses on its breaking up atop Chelyabinsk in Russia in the year 2013. Nevertheless, the 2010 WC9 would not cause any damage to the Earth.