The asteroid ‘2010 WC9’, discovered in 2010 but from which the track was lost until last May 8, will approach Earth to half the distance of the Moon on Tuesday 15th.
Estimates of its size range between 60 and 130 meters, making the step of May 15 is one of the closest ever observed of an asteroid of this size, as reported by ‘Earth Sky’
The Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona detected it for the first time on November 30, 2010, and astronomers saw it until December 10, when it became too weak to follow it. They did not have enough observations to track their orbit completely and thus predict their return.
But on May 8, 2018, almost eight years later, astronomers discovered an asteroid and granted it the temporary designation ‘ZJ99C60’. Then, they realized that it was the ‘2010 WC9’ asteroid coming back.
During the return of 2018, the closest approach to the asteroid ‘2010 WC9’ will occur on May 15 at 22.05 UTC (23.05 in Spain). At that time, the asteroid will be 203,453 kilometers from Earth. According to the calculations of the orbit made by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA, the approach of May 15 is the closest for this particular asteroid in almost 300 years.
‘2010 WC9’ is an Apollo-type space rock. At no time will it be visible to the naked eye, since it sweeps the Earth. It could be as bright as a +11 magnitude, which would make it bright enough to be seen in amateur telescopes pointing to the right location and time. Travel through space at a speed of 46,116 kilometers per hour.