Washington: An asteroid the size of a city block, will make its closest approach to Earth on Saturday, March 9th, less than 7 days after it was discovered, it has been revealed.
The asteroid dubbed NEO (near-Earth object) 2013 ET was discovered on March 3, 2013, by the Catalina Sky Survey.
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.
The asteroid will be traveling across the sky with a relative velocity of 11.88 kilometers per second or 26,552 mph, 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.
Slooh Space Camera will cover its closest approach on Saturday, live on Slooh.com, free to the public, starting at 12:15 p.m. PST / 3:15 p.m. EST / 20:15 UTC-International times at-accompanied by real-time 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.
"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 real time as it passes by Earth," said Slooh president Patrick Paolucci.