Hazardous Asteroid 2000 EM26 Flies by Earth (Representational Image)
Hazardous Asteroid 2000 EM26 Flies by EarthNASA/JPL-Caltech

A giant space rock, Near ­Earth Asteroid, 2000 EM26, measuring 270 meters (885 feet) across i.e about three times the size of a football field sailed past the Earth on Monday 17 February 2014 (18 February in India). The asteroid travelled at a speed of about 27,000 miles per hour and zoomed by Earth at 4:59 p.m. EST (Tuesday morning in India). Fortunately, the asteroid missed our planet by 2.6 million kilometer distance or 0.018 Astronomical Unit (AU).

Slooh that tracks hazardous objects such as comets and asteroids had broadcasted the asteroid movement through its remote controlled telescope on the Canary Islands, off the northwest coast of Africa.

Earlier, two asteroids events had occurred on 15 February 2013, when a 30 meter (98 foot) wide asteroid 2012 DA14 buzzed the Earth.

Coincidently, the same day, a small 60 foot asteroid collided with Earth and exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk with a force as huge as 30 nuclear bombs.

Over 1,500 people were injured in the blast, mostly by glasses from broken windows. The incident raised concerns about humanity's vulnerability to asteroid attack.

"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," National Geographic quoted Bob Berman, Slooh host and astronomer.

"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 (near-Earth objects), as well as setting up contingency plans for deflecting them on short notice should the need arise, would be a wise use of resources", he added.

Find below the slooh video showing 2000 EM26 approach towards earth.