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Exclusive News Sci-Tech

Asteroid 2000 EM26 to zip Earth

Feb 18 (): A massive asteroid, the length of three football fields will make its closest approach to Earth early Tuesday morning.

Though many asteroids have flown by earth in the last few years, this asteroid flies rather very close to the Earth. The live Slooh webcast will start at 02:00 GMT on February 18, that can be watched on YouTube. The site says we will be able to enjoy the journey of the asteroid online without needing to actually go out in the open and try to catch a glimpse.

The huge asteroid is named 2000 EM26. The chunk of rock is 270-metre (885ft) wide moving at about 27,000MPH (43,400KMPH, 12.37 kilometres-a-second). The asteroid, as big as three football fields, is categorized as “potentially hazardous” although it would zip past our world at a safe distance.

The nearest point of approach will be 2.6 million kilometres (1.6 million miles, 0.018 AU) from Earth, or about nine times the distance from here to the Moon. The moon is, on average, 238,900 miles away.

The telescope in the Canary Islands are used to track 2000 EM26 by Slooh. In the Slooh broadcast, the asteroid would probably look as a bright dot moving among star tracks, said the site’s president, Patrick Paolucci. The website would also be showing animations of the asteroid in intervals. Astronomers on the Slooh team will also be answering questions put forth by viewers during the broadcast.

The close approach made by asteroid 2000 EM26 is almost exactly one year after an asteroid just 65 feet in diameter blasted near the Russian city of Chelyabinsk on Feb 15, 2013. The asteroid was modest in size, but the force of the explosion was equal to the energy released by more than 20 atomic bombs, according to the Slooh team.

Slooh technical director Paul Cox said astronomers continue to discover these potentially hazardous asteroids -sometimes only days before they make their approach to Earth and that we need to find them before they find us.