Close encounter: Asteroid as big as a football field will whiz right by Earth this week

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An asteroid the size of a football field will have a close brush with Earth on Tuesday.

The asteroid, known as 2010 WC9, was first spotted in November 2010 and was monitored until December of that year, when it became faint to see. On May 8, astronomers spotted the asteroid and gave it a new name before realizing it was 2010 WC9.

The asteroid measures between 197 and 427 feet in diameter — longer than a football field — and travels at speeds of 28,655 mph, according to EarthSky.

The flyby, expected to happen at 3:05 p.m. Pacific time, is the closest approach of this particular asteroid in nearly 300 years, according to EarthSky.

The asteroid is expected to get as close as 126,419 miles from Earth, or about half the distance of the moon, according to the Great Lakes Ledger.

This will be the second time in a month that an asteroid has flown this close to Earth. On April 15, an asteroid called 2018 GE3 flew by about 119,500 miles away from Earth.

The 2010 WC9 asteroid is most likely bigger than the Chelyabinsk meteor, which injured more than 1,000 people and shattered glass when it broke up over the city of Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2013. However, astronomers believe 2010 WC9 will safely fly by Earth without any damage, according to Tech Times.

Unfortunately for all you stargazers, the asteroid won’t be visible to the eye as it flies past Earth. However, Northolt Branch Observatories in England will broadcast live from their telescope the day before the “lost” asteroid’s approach, the nonprofit organization announced on Facebook.

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