FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Massive Asteroid “The Rock” Makes Its Close Approach to Earth
Slooh to Cover LIVE Fly-by of One Kilometer Wide Asteroid
WASHINGTON DEPOT, CT - April 10, 2017 - On Wednesday, April 19th, at 4:00 PM PDT | 7:00 PM EDT | 23:00UTC (International Times: http://bit.ly/2oSjUSB), Slooh will point its Canary Islands telescopes to track Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 2014 JO25 as it makes its closest approach to Earth. The asteroid, which is estimated at nearly a kilometer in length, will come closer to Earth than any asteroid of its size in 13 years and is making its closest encounter with Earth in 400 years. Given its incredible size, the asteroid has been nicknamed “The Rock” in honor of entertainer and all around good guy, Dwayne Johnson.
Astronomers first learned about “The Rock” three years ago, when it was observed by the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona. Not much is known about the asteroid itself, including its makeup and even its exact size. Estimates put it between 650 meters (about 2,000 feet) and 1.4 kilometers. The asteroid will be moving at about 33 meters per second - and come within 4.6 lunar distances of the Earth - when it makes its close approach at 12:24 UTC on the 19th. Slooh Astronomers will be tracking the asteroid and submitting data to the Minor Planet Center in order to better understand its physical properties.
During the live show, Slooh host Gerard Monteux, as well as Slooh Astronomers Paul Cox and Bob Berman will come together to discuss the asteroid, its discovery, and the potential dangers of an asteroid approach that is a bit too close for comfort. Slooh will cover the asteroid from its flagship observatory at the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands, one of the finest observatory sites in the world.
Slooh routinely tracks potentially hazardous objects for the general public to view live
(both asteroids and comets) whose sizes are large enough, and whose orbits take them near enough to our planet, that they have the potential to cause significant damage in the event of an impact. Slooh’s live asteroid shows have attracted millions of viewers, and Slooh has become a leading voice to help ensure that public awareness does not wane.
“The Rock’s” close approach on the 19th will not bring it on a collision course with the planet, as it passes at a safe distance, but its size, proximity, and speed are an alarming reminder of just how close these destructive chunks of space debris come to Earth on an almost daily basis. It’s estimated that while 90 percent of the 1000 meter plus sized asteroids have been discovered, only 30% of the 140 meter sized NEAs have been found, with less than 1 percent of the 30 meter sized NEAs having been detected. Even a 30meter sized asteroid can cause significant damage to a major city. While not causing an extinction level event, an impact from an asteroid the size of “The Rock” would have a calamitous effect at the local and even regional level. To learn more about asteroids and the risk they pose to Earth, tune into the live show.
Live Stream starts: 4:00 PM PDT ¦ 7:00 PM EDT ¦ 23:00UTC
Live Stream ends: 4:30 AM PDT ¦ 7:30 PM EDT ¦ 23:30UTC
International Timing: http://bit.ly/2oSjUSB
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Slooh connects humanity through communal exploration of the universe. Slooh’s automated observatories develop celestial image streams in real-time for broadcast to the Internet, and Slooh’s technology is protected by Patent No.: US 7,194,146 B2 which was awarded in 2006. Slooh has traveled with a mobile observatory to Kenya, the Faroe Islands, Indonesia, Iceland, Australia, and Alaska, and partnered with observatories in Arizona, Japan, Hawaii, Cypress, Dubai, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Norway and many more to broadcast live celestial events of potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs), comets, transits, eclipses, solar activity, etc., which are syndicated to media outlets worldwide, including TIME, National Geographic, Wired, ABC News, CNN and many more. Celebrate the Transcontinental Eclipse, a Total Solar Eclipse, August 21st, 2017 in Stanley, Idaho, with Slooh as it hosts a three day cultural festival for community members. Slooh recently published a book, The Saturn Above It, An Anthology of Short Fiction About Space, edited by Karen Stevens. Slooh is supported by investment from Connecticut Innovations, the State’s venture capital investment fund. Slooh is based in Washington Depot, CT and is hiring for positions in engineering and content development.
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