Huge discovery about Lost asteroid stuns scientists

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Although there is no risk of impact, this is one of the closest approaches of a space rock of that size.

The Asteroid 2010 WC9 will not be bright enough to be visible to the human eye as it flies past Earth, but it will be picked up by amateur telescopes that are pointed at the right direction at the right time. They didn't have enough observations to track its orbit fully and so predict its return.

However, 8 years later, on May 8, astronomers discovered the asteroid and determined it as the loss of WC9 in 2010. The 2010 WC9 would reportedly be at the closest distance to our planet at near about "6.05 p.m". The asteroid, which will fly past the Earth at 28,000 miles per hour, will measure from 60 meters to 130 meters, which may make it longer than football fields that stretch for 110 meters.

The meteor is about 65 feet long (only about 20 meters) and damaged thousands of buildings when it hit the city in 2013.


With 2010 WC9 possibly bigger than the Chelyabinsk meteor, does it present any significant danger to Earth? "Check out the link below to learn more about this asteroid, why it's special, and how to see it for yourself", on their Facebook page Say.

"We are planning to broadcast this asteroid live to our Facebook page on the night of May 14, likely around midnight, if the weather forecast remains positive", Guy Wells, a specialist in observations of near-Earth objects at NBO, told EarthSky in an email. We will be at us on Monday.

As EarthSky notes, 2010 WC9 come to the Earth very close: the distance of 0.53 distance from our planet to the moon. Estimates of its size range from 197 to 427 feet (60-130 meters), making the May 15 pass one of the closest approaches ever observed of an asteroid of this size.

This long-lost asteroid was initially spotted by the "Catalina Sky Survey at the University of Arizona" on 30 November back in the year 2010. This asteroid was "lost" and then found again.


Daniel Bamberger, also at Northolt Branch Observatories, sent along the two images below.

Aside from its impending visit, 2010 WC9 is particularly interesting because it has an unusual story behind it. Astronomers are calling it the "lost" asteroid because it vanished from their sight for almost eight years.

"We imaged this object twice: first on May 9th, when its provisional name was ZJ99C60; then on May 10th it was once again identified as asteroid 2010 WC9".


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