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Large asteroid due to sail past Earth

Posted on Sunday, 19 May, 2013 | Comment icon 24 comments | News tip by: Waspie_Dwarf

Image credit: ESA

A chunk of rock nine times the size of the QE2 ocean liner will pass within 3.6 million miles this month.

Discovered on August 9th, 1998, the asteroid will make its closest approach later this month but is expected to pass no closer than 15 times the distance between the Moon and the Earth. Its name, "1998 QE2", has actually nothing at all to do with the famous ship and was instead assigned as part of a code used by the US Minor Planet Centre in Massachusetts.

"It is tremendously exciting to see detailed images of this asteroid for the first time," said NASA's Dr Lance Benner. "With radar we can transform an object from a point of light into a small world with its own unique set of characteristics."

"An asteroid nine times larger than the QE2 is due to sail past the Earth later this month."

  View: Full article |  Source: Independent

  Discuss: View comments (24)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #15 Posted by Archimedes on 20 May, 2013, 20:51
I'd say that's to do with the fact that better technology and more effort is being put into find NEOs. In the past, objects like this and the recent one would have glided past the earth and we would have been none the wiser.
Comment icon #16 Posted by bison on 21 May, 2013, 0:14
I find that 16 is the absolute magnitude of the asteroid. It will attain a visual magnitude of about 11, around the time of its closest approach. This should make it it visible in a good pair of binoculars, though only as a dim point of light, given reasonably good seeing conditions.
Comment icon #17 Posted by stevemagegod on 21 May, 2013, 2:13
The article never said the date it is supposed to pass by.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 21 May, 2013, 2:18
It did, they were the very first words:
Comment icon #19 Posted by coolguy on 21 May, 2013, 3:46
Will we be able to see this
Comment icon #20 Posted by cmhough461997 on 21 May, 2013, 13:18
so this asteroid is gonna hit earth and kill everyone?
Comment icon #21 Posted by bison on 21 May, 2013, 14:38
Yes, with good 50mm binoculars (see my post ( # 17) above)
Comment icon #22 Posted by bison on 21 May, 2013, 14:42
Comment icon #23 Posted by Sundew on 21 May, 2013, 18:51
Comment icon #24 Posted by stevemagegod on 22 May, 2013, 11:56
o my bad i must of missed that.

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