A Giant Asteroid Will Pass Earth On May 15 & It’s Gonna Be A Really Close Call
It's a big day for the sky on May 15. It's the New Moon and astrologically speaking, Uranus will move into Taurus until 2026. But the astronomical event may be the most awe inducing of all that's going on up above. A giant asteroid will pass Earth on May 15, and it's gonna be really close to us. Luckily, it probably won't hit our planet, but it will be closer than any asteroid has gotten in the past 300 years — so, it's worth a look through the telescope on the day of. Or, thanks to the futuristic age we all happen to live in, a log on to Facebook Live.
TIME reported that the size of the asteroid will be a little, um, uncomfortably large. The large space rock will be "the size of the Statue of Liberty" or "about the size of a football field." But don't worry, this racing rock won't be the plot line of the next space-disaster blockbuster... even though it seems like it totally could be. The Asteroid, referred to as Asteroid 2010 WC9, will be 126,419 miles from Earth, according to EarthSky. That's half the moon's distance — and it's gonna be hurtling past our planet like a scene out of Armageddon or something! Gulp.
Don't worry though, seriously: The it's likely not going to hit Earth, and it probably won't even be close enough to see without the proper equipment. As EarthSky explained, while the asteroid seems to be very large, apparently it's not that big "by any absolute measure," or in the grand schemes of things. Such as, the universe. Even though Asteroid 2010 WC9 is whirling through space at 28,655 miles per hour, we're not expected to be grazed, feel any of it or even really see it — at least not with the naked eye.
For the kids who wanted to be astronauts and still have an affinity for the sky, there are still ways to see the asteroid. Asteroid 2010 WC9 will pass by Earth on May 15 at 6:05pm Eastern Time. While your reading glasses won't focus in on the event, an amateur telescope might do the trick. If you don't have a telescope on hand or near by but still want to be amazed by the alien, space things that occupy our universe and zoom by every once in a while, you can tune into Facebook.
Because we can send people to the moon, we can now also watch space stuff through social media. London's Northolt Branch Observatories will be live streaming the fly by on Facebook. It will begin around 12:00 a.m. GMT on May 14. And this isn't the kind of asteroid you want to miss.
Asteroid 2010 WC9 has been tracked since Nov. 2010 when it was discovered by The Catalina Sky Survey. Once it became "too faint to see," though, the tracking was lost, and a cat and mouse game ensued. It showed its face nearly eight years later on May 8. So yes, you are going to want to catch this stealthy asteroid as it makes its close approach past Earth.
There's a lot going on amongst the stars and planets on May 15. The calendar date is packed with a lunar event (the new moon), an astrological event and now an asteroid who demands to occupy the spotlight of your telescope or computer screen. Thankfully the asteroid is giving Earth space as it makes its way past us as to not make us overwhelmed with this ~packed~ schedule. Get your May new moon treats in and a peek at the zooming space rock. It's going to be quite the night and not at all the plot of an asteroid-hits-earth movie.