Asteroid makes flyby past Earth

An asteroid estimated to be the size of three football fields whizzed close to Earth on Monday, but winter weather disrupted a planned live webcast.

Webcast disrupted by ice and snow

An asteroid estimated to be the size of three football fields whizzed close to Earth on Monday, roughly a year after one exploded over Russia and injured 1,200 people.

Slooh, a service that streams images from ground-based telescopes online during celestial events, was supposed to broadcast the approach of the asteroid as it raced past the planet at about 43,000 kilometres per hour, starting at 9 p.m. ET (2 a.m. MT, Feb. 18).

However, Slooh's flagship observatory on Mount Teide in Spain's Canary Islands was iced over and unable to be used for the 2000 EM26 viewing, Paul Cox, Slooh's technical and research director, said on the one-hour webcast.

The Dubai Astronomy Group provided Slooh photos of the part of the sky where the rock was expected to be seen, but its motion could not be picked out immediately in a live webcast against the backdrop of night-time stars.

Cox said the asteroid should be somewhere in the field, but a close look would have to be taken at the images later on.

Asteroid 'nowhere to be found'

On Tuesday morning, Slooh spokesman Patrick Paolucci confirmed in an email that the asteroid was "nowhere to be found" in the images.

The 270-metre asteroid was streaking past Earth at a distance of about 3.4 million kilometres little more than a year after another asteroid exploded on Feb. 15, 2013, over Chelyabinsk, Russia. That asteroid injured 1,200 people following a massive shock wave that shattered windows and damaged buildings.

Chelyabinsk region officials had wanted to mark the anniversary by giving a piece of the meteorite to each 2014 Winter Olympic athlete who won a medal on Saturday at the Sochi Games. However, the International Olympic Committee at the last minute said it could be done only after the games and separately.

With files from CBC News