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Huge Asteroid to Fly Safely By Earth Monday: Watch It Live

The massive asteroid is the size of three football fields

Icy Comet NEAT
(Photo by NASA/SSPL/Getty Images)

An asteroid the size of three football fields is set to make a close brush of Earth on Monday (Feb. 17), and you can watch the flyby in a live webcast.

Near-Earth asteroid 2000 EM26 poses no threat of actually hitting the planet, but the online Slooh Space Camera will track the asteroid as it passes by Earth on Monday. The live Slooh webcast will start at 9 p.m. EST (0200 Feb. 18 GMT), and you can also watch the webcast directly through the Slooh website.

You can also watch the asteroid broadcast live on Space.com. Scientists estimate that 2000 EM26 is about 885 feet (270 meters) in diameter, and it is whizzing through the solar system at a break-neck 27,000 mph (12.37km/s), according to Slooh. During its closest approach, the asteroid will fly about 8.8 lunar distances from Earth. [See photos of potentially dangerous asteroids]

"We continue to discover these potentially hazardous asteroids - sometimes only days before they make their close approaches to Earth," Slooh's technical and research director, Paul Cox said in a statement. "Slooh's asteroid research campaign is gathering momentum with Slooh members using the Slooh robotic telescopes to monitor this huge population of potentially hazardous space rocks. We need to find them before they find us!"

2000 EM26's flyby comes almost exactly a year after two major near-Earth object (NEO) events on Feb. 15, 2013. That day, as scientists were tracking the extremely close pass of the 98-foot (30 m) asteroid 2012 DA14, another, unrelated space rock unexpectedly exploded above Chelyabinsk, Russia, causing substantial damage to buildings that injured more than 1,000 people with falling glass.

The shockwave caused by the explosion damaged thousands of buildings and left thousands of people injured, but no one was killed. The approximately 65-foot-meteor (20 m) exploded 18 miles (29 km) above the ground, and it released the energy equivalent of about 20 atomic bombs, Slooh officials said.

"On a practical level, a previously-unknown, undiscovered asteroid seems to hit our planet and cause damage or injury once a century or so, as we witnessed on June 20, 1908 and February 15, 2013," Slooh astronomer Bob Berman said in a statement. "Every few centuries, an even more massive asteroid strikes us - fortunately usually impacting in an ocean or wasteland such an Antarctica. But the ongoing threat, and the fact that biosphere-altering events remain a real if small annual possibility, suggests that discovering and tracking all NEOs, as well as setting up contingency plans for deflecting them on short notice should the need arise, would be a wise use of resources."

Pieces of the Russian meteorite will be awarded to seven gold medal winners on Saturday at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

The Slooh webcast will include commentary from Mark Boslough, an expert on planetary impacts. You can participate in the broadcast by using the hashtag #asteroid to ask questions during the 2000 EM26 show.

Follow Miriam Kramer @mirikramer and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.

Copyright 2014 SPACE.com, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Alex Garcia

Watch Asteroid 2000 EM26 Live Stream and hope it doesn't turns out to be as close like 2012 DA14 which came close near the orbit of our geosynchronous satelites..

http://tinyurl.com/WatchAsteroid2000EM26LiveFREE

February 18 2014 at 9:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
apuzzilla

The Slooh coverage was a complete waste of time. All they showed was the Russian meteor event last year over and over again. I'll never watch anything on their site again.

February 18 2014 at 8:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
danieldgj

Why is there a photo of a comet at the head of an article about an asteroid?

February 18 2014 at 7:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jko9721735

Just a trivial comment... wow... "Break-neck" speed? A rock, three times the size of a football field travelling at 27,000 mph... "Break-neck"? Really? Surely there are other terms that could've been used... Body-disintegrating, city-destroying, wicked-fast?

February 18 2014 at 1:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jko9721735's comment
rothhammer1

Astronomical.

February 18 2014 at 6:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Will

LOOK FEELING LOVED AND B DOUGLAS ..OBAMA INVITED THIS ASTEROID AND IF YOU DON T LIKE THAT TO BAD HANDLE IT . STOP YOUR CRYING . MY LIFE IS MUCH BETTER SINCE OBAMA IS PRESIDENT .
ENJOY THE STARS EVERYONE A GIFT FROM ABOVE IS MAKING A VISIT..

February 18 2014 at 12:33 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Velocity105

Next ones got our name on it. Sooner or later Earth will hit the asteroid lottery.

February 18 2014 at 12:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Velocity105's comment
rothhammer1

Tens of thousands of tons of meteoritic material enter Earth's atmosphere annually. Most of it burns completely due to the extreme friction encountered while traveling through our atmosphere as 'shooting stars.'

February 18 2014 at 6:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cronkconstruct

Does anyone know, if we look up, if, or where, we might actually see the astroid?

February 17 2014 at 11:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DAT GURL

Wth does Obama Care have to do with an asteroid

February 17 2014 at 10:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
T Rock

Watch it live - from a camera feed? Doesn't anybody go outside and look up anymore?

February 17 2014 at 10:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
feeling loved?

So to those of you who voted for Obama....how's that working out for you? More people on food stamps? Extended unemployment? No jobs? Obamacare escalated costs per family? 4 dead Americans in Benghazi. One dead border patrol agent due to Fast n Furious. How about the IRS denying conservative groups tax free status? Do you like the idea of the IRS overseeing Obamacare? How about Obama amending Obamacare 29 times without going through Congress...you like that too? He was elected President not Czar or Monarch or Emporer or King. How you liking that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid? Two of the biggest idiots in Washington. Yep, they are Democrats too. And somebody answer me why teachers aren't put on Obamacare? They voted the guy in - let them all suffer with the rest of us!

February 17 2014 at 9:56 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to feeling loved?'s comment
rothhammer1

So........ you aren't very fond of the current President?

February 18 2014 at 6:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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