An asteroid the size of a city block will make its closest approach in almost 300 years this evening. At 6:05 p.m. EST, the 200-400-foot space rock dubbed 2010 WC9 will zip by earth at 29,000 miles per hour, missing us by a distance of about 126,000 miles (half the distance from the earth to the moon).
As NBC News reports, Northolt Branch Observatories, an astronomy group in London, England, livestreamed telescopic snapshots of the asteroid’s approach on its Facebook page last night.
If you are worried about an asteroid slamming into Earth, don’t lock yourself into your survival bunker just yet. An asteroid about the size of 2010 WC9 collides with Earth only about once every 6,000 years, according to Dr. Paul Chodas, director of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
But if an asteroid the size of WC9 did strike earth, it might create a small crater and shatter windows, just as the meteor that blew up over Chelyabinsk, Russia did in 2013.
“There are no objects that have been identified that are known to be on a collision course with Earth,” said asteroid expert Dr. Amy Mainzer.
Good. I have too much other trivial shit to worry about.
[h/t NBC News]