Huge space rock whips past planet

New York Daily News - - VOICE OF THE PEOPLE - Jes­sica Sch­lade­beck

AN AS­TER­OID about the same size as a foot­ball field missed the Earth Tues­day by about 126,000 miles — about half the dis­tance to the moon.

The as­ter­oid, which is of­fi­cially des­ig­nated 2010 WC9, made its clos­est ap­proach at 6:05 p.m. Eastern Time while trav­el­ing at 28,655 mph, ac­cord­ing to the Mi­nor Planet Cen­ter.

The in­ter­plan­e­tary ma­rauder mea­sures roughly 200 by 400 feet, ac­cord­ing to Earth­Sky.org.

While it isn’t ex­cep­tion­ally large, it’s rare for such an out­sized space rock to ven­ture so close to Earth. Ac­cord­ing to Earth­Sky.org, this was “one of the clos­est ap­proaches ever ob­served of an as­ter­oid of this size.”

The 2010 WC9 is larger than the es­ti­mated size of the Chelyabinsk me­teor, which en­tered Earth’s at­mos­phere in 2013. Win­dows across six Rus­sian cities were left shat­tered and some 1,500 peo­ple sought out med­i­cal as­sis­tance as a re­sult.

Ex­perts at The Catalina Sky Sur­vey in Ari­zona first spot­ted the as­ter­oid in 2010, but it was later lost when it “be­came too faint to see,” ac­cord­ing to Earth Sky.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.