Big asteroid swinging by Earth has its own moon

May 30, 2013 by Seth Borenstein
Asteroid 1998 QE2 will get no closer than about 3.6 million miles at time of closest approach on May 31 at 1:59 p.m. Pacific (4:59 p.m. Eastern). Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Astronomers getting their first close-up glimpse of a giant asteroid about to whiz by Earth found a surprise bonus rock. A smaller moon asteroid is circling the larger space rock, an unusual but not unheard of space phenomenon.

The larger 1.7 mile-wide rock named 1998 QE2 will be the closest to Earth on Friday at 4:59 p.m. EDT. Don't worry, though. It will still be 3.6 million miles away. scientist Paul Chodas (Ch'OH'duhs) said it's one of the larger asteroids to swing by Earth and is the size of the that wiped out the dinosaurs.

The smaller rock was discovered Wednesday night by astronomers using radar to look at QE2. The moon asteroid is about 2,000 feet wide. That's about average for such near-Earth objects.

Explore further: QE2 asteroid to fly by Earth from safe distance

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User comments : 5

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Shootist
1 / 5 (3) May 30, 2013
The larger 1.7 mile-wide rock named Asteroid 1998 QE2 . . .Paul Chodas (Ch'OH'duhs) said it's one of the larger asteroids to swing by Earth and is the size of the space rock that wiped out the dinosaurs.


No. This is incorrect.

Find any peer reviewed paper that doesn't says the bolide was something other than 10-15 km (6-10 miles) in diameter.
Shootist
1 / 5 (2) May 30, 2013
The larger 1.7 mile-wide rock named Asteroid 1998 QE2 . . .Paul Chodas (Ch'OH'duhs) said it's one of the larger asteroids to swing by Earth and is the size of the space rock that wiped out the dinosaurs.


No. This is incorrect.

Find any peer reviewed paper that doesn't says the bolide was something other than 10-15 km (6-10 miles) in diameter.


Boy, bollixed that up.

that doesn't say the bolide was 10-15km in diameter.
Neinsense99
3 / 5 (8) May 30, 2013
That's no 'That's no moon' joke, Mister!
Dug
not rated yet May 31, 2013
Anyone know the radius of the moon's orbit?
Chromodynamix
1 / 5 (1) Jun 01, 2013
Yes, to within a few centimeters!

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