A fast-moving asteroid the size of a city block

A fast-moving asteroid the size of a city block will give Earth a close shave on Tuesday, zooming safely past 18:05 EDT at a distance of approximately 126,000 miles. That’s about half the distance from Earth to the Moon and the closest approximation of the asteroid will have been done in nearly 300 years, EarthSky.org reported.
The space rock, known as WC9 2010, is moving at almost 29,000 miles per hour and has a diameter of 60 to 134 meters, or approximately 200 to 400 feet – “as big as through a city block,” Dr Erin Ryan, an asteroid expert at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, told NBC News MACH in an email.Big as it is, the asteroid is too weak to be seen by the naked eye, even during the overflight. But Northolt Branch observatories, an astronomy group in London, England, is planning Livestream telescope views of the approaching asteroid on its Facebook page starting Monday night around midnight local time (7 p.m. EDT) .dr. Paul Chodas, director of the Center for Near-Earth Studies of objects at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and a leading expert on asteroids, said astronomers affiliated with the NASA-sponsored Catalina Sky Survey discovered 2.010 WC9 in 2010 and quickly determined that it poses no danger to the Earth “We knew enough to not worry,” he said.
But, what if an asteroid is the size of WC9? If it was made of rocky material, Ryan said, it could create a small crater and break the windows – as happened in 2013, when a meteor in the atmosphere exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia. However, some asteroids are made of metal, and if one of the WC9 were to size hit us, he said, “you would get a crater as big as Meteor Crater.” Meteor Crater, about 19 miles west of Winslow, Arizona, is about 4,000 feet in diameter and about 600 feet deep.
That may sound frightening even to contemplate, but astronomers say there is no need to worry too much about the asteroid.
An asteroid about the size of WC9 in 2010 collides with Earth only once every 6,000 years, Chodas said. And as Dr. Amy Mainzer, another asteroid expert at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told MACH in December, “There are no objects that have been identified, which are known to be in a collision course with Earth.”

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Rajbir Mangat

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