Asteroid to fly around Cape Town | News | National



An asteroid the size of a football field is expected to approach Earth on Tuesday, but at a safe distance, the United States space agency said.

Space rock was discovered already in 2010, but only recently did astronomers determine that it would not collide with our planet, but they passed a distance of half the Earth and the Moon.

The 2010 WC9 Asteroid will make an "approach" to Earth at 22:04 GMT, NASA said. noting that its closest passage will be on the coast of Antarctica.

"At the time of closest approach, the asteroid will not be closer to the surface of the Earth than approximately 120,000 miles [193 000km]," the space agency said.

A good observation point for those equipped with a moderate eight-inch telescope could be Cape Town.

It is believed that the asteroid measures between 60m and 120m wide.

Its speed should reach 12.9km per second.

NASA said that this approach will be the closest to Earth for this particular asteroid for at least two centuries.

Next year, on October 17, the asteroid will make a distant flyby of Earth at 42.8 million kilometers.

It is known that more than 10,000 asteroids orbit near Earth, and scientists follow them regularly to monitor possible attacks.
– AFP

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