ESA 2010 MPS/OSIRIS Team
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Huge asteroid skims past Earth Monday night at 27,000 mph

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An asteroid the size of three football fields skimmed by the Earth Monday night.

Asteroid 2000 EM26 is traveling at nearly 27,000 mph and posed no threat to the Earth, according to experts.

Slooh Space Camera hosted a live webcast at 7 p.m. MST and viewers could ask questions via Twitter using #asteroid, the website stated in a press release.

The Slooh webcast had expected to use images of Asteroid 2000 EM26 from its observatory located on Mount Teide in the Canary Islands. However, The Slooh Observatory  'iced up' and was unable to record live images of the asteroid. Pictures have been received from an observatory in Dubai.

The asteroid missed Earth by 2 million miles.

Watch the video

"We continue to discover these potentially hazardous asteroids -- sometimes only days before they make their close approaches to Earth," stated Paul Coz, Slooh's technical and research director. "We need to find them before they find us!"

The Asteroid is expected to come one year after a 65-foot asteroid injured 1,500 people in Chelyabinsk, Russia. It's nearest approach to Earth will be about 2.1 million miles, according to San Diego State University astronomy professor Jerome Orosz.

"On a practical level, a previously-unknown, undiscovered asteroid seems to hit our planet and cause damage or injury once a century or so, as we witnessed on June 20, 1908 and February 15, 2013," Slooh astronomer Bob Berman stated. "Every few centuries, an even more massive asteroid strikes us -- fortunately usually impacting in an ocean or wasteland such an Antarctica.

"But the ongoing threat, and the fact that biosphere-altering events remain a real if small annual possibility, suggests that discovering and tracking all NEOs, as well as setting up contingency plans for deflecting them on short notice should the need arise, would be a wise use of resources."

Winners at the Winter Olympics in Sochi are currently receiving medals with small fragments of the asteroid.

Copyright 2014 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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