Hey Space Placers!
You might enjoy this interview I had on 2000 EM26 which flew by Earth last night -- see my 2-17-14 column. Here is the accompanying article to the interview.
The Slooh server crashed several times last night due to the number of people tuning in according to USA Today. Also the asteroid was very hard to see. You Tube has the complete broadcast here.
As I said in the interview much bigger and closer asteroids than 2000 EM26 have been and will be flying by Earth. So why all of the hype on this one? The only thing I can think of is that this flyby got traction in the media somehow. Perhaps it was because it was going to be carried live on the 'net.
And sure, 2000 EM26 is a big rock but it pales in comparison to one that is 750-1,000 meters across that passed even closer to us on the 10th of February. We get close flybys almost every single day. I don't think people realize that.
We have discovered over 10,000 Near Earth Objects (NEOs) and over 1,600 Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs). That is a literal drop in the cosmic bucket to the millions that are out there. And the smaller ones at 60 feet across like Chelyabinsk pose a threat as we have seen.
To deflect or destroy the threat we must detect it first. We need more telescopes and spacecraft looking. I'll have more on that in a future blog.
Sky Guy in Sunny at long last VA