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Bus-Size Asteroid Buzzing Earth Tonight Stars in Slooh Webcast

near-earth asteroid
Artist's impression of a near-Earth asteroid. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Update for Wednesday, Jan. 25: Asteroid 2017 BX has safely passed by Earth. You can see a photo of the asteroid by Slooh at our latest story here: Newfound Asteroid 'Rerun' Zips Harmlessly By Earth.

A bus-size asteroid will safely pass between Earth and the moon today (Jan. 24), and the online Slooh observatory will provide live views of the space rock just hours before its closest approach.

The asteroid, called 2017 BX, is about the size of a bus, according to NASA's Asteroid Watch tracker. NASA estimates that the object is about 28 feet (8.5 meters) wide. You can see the orbit of the asteroid, as projected by the Near-Earth Object Program at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. 

Slooh's webcast on 2017 BX will begin at 5:30 p.m. EST (2230 GMT) and will be available directly at here.

You can also watch the asteroid flyby webcast at, courtesy of Slooh. 

Asteroid 2017 BX, nicknamed "Rerun" by Slooh astronomers after actor Fred Berry's famous role on the 1970s show "What's Happening!!", is the second asteroid of its size to pass near Earth in the past three weeks. Rerun was discovered a few days ago, according to Slooh.

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"During the broadcast, Slooh astronomers will be on hand to answer questions about the newly discovered asteroid," Slooh representatives said in a statement. "They'll discuss its size, speed and makeup, while also exploring why smaller asteroids like Rerun and its larger cousin so often go undetected until just days before they reach their closest point to the planet."

Rerun was discovered Jan. 20. While NASA pegs its general size at 28 feet across, it may be as small as 13 feet (4 m) or as large as 46 feet (14 m) in diameter, according to Slooh astronomers.  Its closest approach, which will occur just before midnight tonight, will bring it to within 162,252 miles (261,119 kilometers) of Earth, which is 30 percent closer than Earth is to the moon.

The views of Rerun will come courtesy of Slooh's telescopes in Spain's Canary Islands. Viewers can take part in the broadcast by tweeting @Slooh or participating in a live chat on Slooh's Facebook page at

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Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is a contributing writer for (opens in new tab) since 2012. As a proud Trekkie and Canadian, she tackles topics like spaceflight, diversity, science fiction, astronomy and gaming to help others explore the universe. Elizabeth's on-site reporting includes two human spaceflight launches from Kazakhstan, and embedded reporting from a simulated Mars mission in Utah. She holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc (opens in new tab). in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, and a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University. Her latest book, NASA Leadership Moments, is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday.