Large asteroid to fly past Earth on Monday

Monday, February 17, 2014 | 5:05 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — An asteroid the size of three football fields is expected to fly past Earth on Monday night and can be seen in a live webcast.

The Slooh Space Camera will start its webcast of the near-Earth 2000 EM26 asteroid at 9 p.m. Monday. Slooh provides free webcasts of space events such as asteroids, comets or eclipses from land-based telescopes.

Scientists estimate the asteroid is 885 feet in diameter and, according to Slooh, it is flying through space at 27,000 mph. The asteroid is predicted to get as close as 8.8 lunar distances, or the current distance between the Earth and the moon, from Earth but does not cause any threat of hitting the planet. 

Mark Boslough, expert on planetary impact at Sandia National Laboratories, will provide commentary on the Slooh webcast. Viewers can participate and ask questions during the webcast by tweeting with the hashtag "#asteroid."

The last two near-Earth object event happened when an 98 foot diameter asteroid passed the Earth on Feb. 15, 2013, according to At the same time, a space rock exploded 18 miles above Chelyabinsk, Russia, releasing the energy equivalent of 20 atomic bombs, according to

Supervising editor is Stephanie Ebbs.

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