Asteroid the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza to shoot past Earth TOMORROW | Science | News


The asteroid in question, dubbed 2010 WC9, was first discovered in 2010 by astronomers using the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona.

But shortly after it was discovered experts lost track of the huge space rock.

2010 WC9 was spotted again earlier this month and scientists now say that it is heading towards Earth and will just miss us.

The asteroid will fly by Earth at a distance of 126,000 miles – just half the distance between the Earth and the Moon – at 11.05PM on May 15.

Anything that comes closer than 4,650,000 miles of Earth is classified by NASA as a “near-Earth object” (NEO).

NASA said the event is the closest 2010 WC9 will be to Earth within the next 300 years.

At 130 metres, the asteroid would not destroy life on Earth, but would be more than six times the size of the space rock that almost wiped out Chelyabinsk.

In 2013, a 20 metre meteor exploded over the Russian city which smashed windows and caused injuries to more than 1,000 people.

And if 2010 WC9 were to hit Earth, it could easily wipe out a major city or a small country.

People will have to opportunity to watch the flyby life courtesy of a live stream from the Northolt Branch Observatories in London.

Guy Wells, of the observatory, said: “We are planning to broadcast this asteroid live to our Facebook page if the weather forecast remains positive.

“The broadcast will be less than 25 minutes in duration, as the asteroid will cross our field of view within that period of time.

“The asteroid will be moving quite rapidly (30 arc seconds per minute).

“Our display will update every five seconds. We are of course collecting astrometric data whilst this is happening, but the motion of the asteroid will be apparent every five seconds.”



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