Asteroid set to narrowly miss Earth on Tuesday. Here’s how you can watch
An asteroid that’s estimated to be the size of the Statue of Liberty will narrowly miss Earth as it passes by the planet on May 15.
The asteroid is called 2010 WC9, and was first detected eight years ago by the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona. However, not long after astronomers discovered 2010 WC9, they lost sight of it again. On May 8 of this year, astronomers discovered it once again, and this time, it was close enough to determine its orbit, Popular Mechanics reports.
A report from EarthSky states that the asteroid, which is small by astronomical standards, is travelling at approximately 46,116 kilometres per hour. While this isn’t a particularly large asteroid, it is larger than the Chelyabinsk meteor, which broke windows in six Russian cities and caused some 1,500 people to seek medical attention when it passed by Earth in 2013.
2010 WC9 will come within 203,453 kilometres of Earth, states EarthSky, or about half the distance to the moon, making this one of the closest passes ever made by an asteroid of this size.
The asteroid will come close enough that it will be visible to anyone with a small telescope, should the weather permit. If you don’t have a telescope to spare, amateur astronomers can watch a livestream of the event, courtesy of the Northolt Branch Observatories in London.
Here’s when you can tune in to watch, or take out your telescope, depending on where you live in Canada.
Pacific Standard Time: 3:15 p.m.
Mountain Time: 4:15 p.m.
Central Time: 5:15 p.m.
Eastern Time: 6:15 p.m.
Atlantic Time: 7:15 p.m.
The last known time an asteroid entered Earth’s atmosphere before 2013 was in 1908, when the Tunguska meteor broke up over Siberia, flattening more than 80 million trees. It was thought to be more powerful than the atomic bomb.
Watch the livestream of the pass here: Northolt Branch Observatories
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