A large asteroid up to 427 feet across will safely buzz by Earth tonight in one of the closest encounters of an asteroid of that size to the planet on record.
Asteroid 2010 WC9 will pass at about half’s the moon’s distance at 6:05 p.m.
While not visible to the naked eye, an observatory in England is hoping to live webcast views of the asteroid on its Facebook page.
According to EarthSky.org, the asteroid was first located by the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona on Nov. 30, 2010.
“They didn’t have enough observations to track its orbit fully and so predict its return,” wrote Eddie Irizarry in a blog on EarthSky.org. “On May 8, almost eight years later, astronomers discovered an asteroid and gave it the temporary designation Zj99C60.”
But then they realized it was the same asteroid they had discovered in 2010 returning.