Keeping you current

Get Ready: A 2.8-Mile Wide Asteroid Is About to Swoop Past Earth

A huge asteroid will pass near Earth today, and you can watch it live online

smithsonian.com

Radar images of Toutatis captured during its 1992 flyby. Photo: Steve Ostro, JPL

Throughout the course of the next few days, says Space.com, an asteroid 2.8 miles long is going to shoot by our little planet at a meager distance of around 4.2 million miles away. This, says Universe Today, is about “18 times the distance from the Earth to the Moon.”

Though not posing any real threat to life on Earth, given its wide berth, the asteroid, named Toutatis, is still one to watch: it passes round the Sun roughly ever four years. And, at around a quarter the size of the asteroid thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs, we most definitely wouldn’t want that grazing distance to be any narrower.

The Slooh space camera, a robotic telescope set-up that can stream live video to the web, will be tracking the asteroid from a telescope in the Canary Islands, and from one in Arizona, says Slooh president to Universe Today, with live coverage starting at 3 p.m. Eastern or at noon Pacific.

More from Smithsonian.com:

Giant Paintball Gun Could Save the World From Death-by-Asteroid
To the Asteroids and Beyond
Asteroid Strike Confirmed as Dinosaur Killer

About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

Read more from this author |
Tags

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus