Discovered on March 3rd, 2013 by Catalina Sky Survey, NEO (Near-Earth object) ”2013 ET,” an asteroid the size of a city block, will make its closest approach to Earth, Saturday, March 9th, less than 7 days after it was discovered. Slooh will cover its closestapproach on Saturday, live on Slooh.com, free to the public, starting at 12:15 PM PST / 3:15 PM EST / 20:15 UTC International times here: http://goo.gl/kQJuL accompanied by realtime discussions with Slooh President, Patrick Paolucci, Slooh Engineer, Paul Cox, and Documentary Filmmaker, Duncan Copp. Viewers can watch live on their PC/MAC or iOS/Android mobile device.
The asteroid is estimated to be approximately 64 140 meters (210 460 feet) wide and will pass 2.5 times the Moon’s distance from our planet. At its maximum brightness on March 9th,”NEO 2013 ET,” will be at a relatively dim magnitude of 17 not bright enough to view through a backyard telescope, but should be reasonably bright through Slooh telescopes in the Canary Islands, off the coast of west Africa.
Astronomer Bob Berman, columnist and contributing editor of Astronomy magazine says, “The recent flurry of asteroidal close calls and near misses, including the double whammy of DA14 and the Siberian meteor on February 15th, is starting to make our region of space seem like a video game or pinball contest. This latest interloper arrives just as serious debates are unfolding as to the obvious need for more and better monitoring of potentially hazardous asteroids crossing our orbit and even whether we should develop a “deflection” system.”
The asteroid will be traveling across the sky with a relative velocity of 11.88 kilometers per second or 26,552mph, which is about 15 times faster than a rifle bullet. If asteroid 2013 ET were to hit Earth, the damage would be significant potentially destroying a small city.
Says Slooh President, Patrick Paolucci, “We only have a short viewing window of an hour or so from our Canary Islands observatory on March 9th, but we wanted to give the general public a front row seat to witness this new asteroid in realtime as it passes by Earth.”