A very fast moving asteroid will be crossing near earth on Tuesday. The asteroid is expected to pass the earth at a distance of about 126,000 miles. This is nearly half the distance from earth to the moon. The space rock is known as 2010 WC9 and is moving at 29000 miles per hour. It has a diameter of 60 to 134 meters and it is as big as a city block. Despite being big, the asteroid is too faint to be seen with the naked eye during the flyby.
An astronomy group in London plans to conduct the livestream telescopic views of the approaching asteroid. Dr. Paul Chodas, director of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California said that the astronomers affiliated with the NASA funded Catalina Sky Survey discovered 2010 WC9 in 2010 and determined that it will not be a danger to the earth. He said, “We knew enough not to be worried.” But what if the asteroid was made up of a rocky material and it was to strike the earth? Ryan said that in that case, it would have caused a small crater and shattered the windows like in 2013 when a meteor entered the atmosphere and blew up over Chelyabinsk, Russia. Some asteroids are also made of metal and if one metal asteroid which has the size of WC9 hit earth then, Ryan said, “you’d get a crater about as big as Meteor Crater.”
The Meteor Crater which is 19 miles west of Winslow, Arizona is almost 4000 feet in diameter and nearly 600 feet deep. This sounds scary, however, there is no need to be worried since the asteroid will not hit the earth. Chodas said that an asteroid of this size hits earth only once in 6000 years. Dr. Amy Mainzer, another expert in the asteroid said that “There are no objects that have been identified that are known to be on a collision course with Earth”