Earth marks close encounter with enormous asteroid

By REUTERS
February 18, 2014 05:58

 
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An asteroid estimated to be the size of three football fields whizzed close to Earth on Monday, roughly a year after one exploded over Russia and injured 1,200 people.

Slooh Space Camera tracked the approach of the asteroid as it raced past the planet at about 27,000 mph (43,000 kmph), starting at 9 p.m. EST (2 a.m. GMT, Feb. 18), the robotic telescope service said in a statement on Slooh.com.

The Dubai Astronomy Group provided Slooh photos of the part of the sky where the rock was expected to be seen, but its motion could not be picked out immediately in a live webcast against the backdrop of night-time stars.

The 295-yard (270-m) asteroid was streaking past Earth at a distance of about 2.1 million miles (3.4 million km) little more than a year after another asteroid exploded on Feb. 15, 2013, over Chelyabinsk, Russia. That asteroid injured 1,200 people following a massive shock wave that shattered windows and damaged buildings.

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