An asteroid of a similar size passed by our planet just in April. This is going to be the closest encounter with the asteroid in the last 300 years.
Pacific time, is the closest approach of this particular asteroid in almost 300 years, according to EarthSky. At that time, the asteroid will be 0.53 lunar-distances from Earth (126,419 miles or 203,453 km from Earth). "This will be one of the closest approaches by a "large" (~100m) asteroid ever observed", the Northolt Branch Observatories revealed.
Astronomers estimate the asteroid to be 71 metres in diameter (though it could be larger). No, not by any absolute measure. For perspective: The object that exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in February 2013, shattering thousands of windows and injuring about 1,500 people, was thought to be about 65 feet (20 m) wide.
However, this time, it's about a different space rock. Using the data acquired so far, scientists have calculated 2010 WC9's orbit to 2158 and this is the closest it will come to Earth within that time frame.
"2010 WC9 is expected to reach 11th magnitude on the day of closest approach (May 15th), bright enough to be seen with a small telescope".
The asteroid - which is in between 200 to 400 feet long - is moving at about 29,000 miles per hour.
Want to view the asteroid online?
"We plan to broadcast this asteroid to our Facebook page if the weather forecast remains positive". The asteroid will proceed pretty quickly (30 minutes of arc per second). Our display will be updated every five seconds.
Daniel Bamberger, also at Northolt Branch Observatories, sent along the two images below.
The orbital track of asteroid 2010 WG9 during its May 15, 2018 flyby of Earth.
Astronomers discovered asteroid 2010 WC9 on November 30, 2010.
"Asteroids this size approach about this close about once every decade or so, on average", Chodas said.