Skip to comments.Surprise! Earth Passing Asteroid 1998 QE2 Has a Moon
Posted on 05/30/2013 2:51:12 PM PDT by BenLurkin
Late yesterday, NASA turned the 230-foot (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California towards Asteroid 1998 QE2 as it was heading towards its closest approach to Earth, and they got a big surprise: the asteroid is a binary system. 1998 QE2 itself is 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometers) in diameter, and the newly found orbiting moon is about 600 meters in diameter.
The radar images were taken were taken on May 29, 2013, when the asteroid was about 3.75 million miles (6 million kilometers) from Earth.
Radar really helps to pin down the orbit of an asteroid as well as the size of it, said Paul Chodas of NASAs Near-Earth Object Program office, speaking during a JPL webcast about this asteroid on May 30. We now know our size estimates were pretty good, but finding it was a binary was surprising.
NASA said that about 16 percent of asteroids are binary or even triple systems.
(Excerpt) Read more at universetoday.com ...
The double deckers get to whack us twice ~
I’d just call it a cluster $%#@.....
Let’s hope Earth’s gravity field doesn’t rip it loose! Maybe it was a “triple system” last time it came around? Maybe the Mayans knew what they were talking about,,,,, er,,,, probably not!
Thanks BenLurkin, extra to APoD members.
Oh, great. And the Boy Scouts have been discriminating against them all these years.
I’m starting to suspect that some asteroids have an associated cluster of material in their general trajectory from earlier collisions. If this is the case, there should be an increase in meteorites before and after a major fly by.
Ruh roh. It’s the mother ship!
I admit that I cannot understand how gravity works, but I had no idea the an asteroid could attract a moon.
Revisit the Russian meteor?
Ya got something against two moons?
IOW, if the big rock doesn’t hit us, the little one will?
” I had no idea the an asteroid could attract a moon.”
That must be something like a midget taking on a fat lady.
It’s a female asteroid and her calf. They are leaving the birthing grounds and headed north to the feeding grounds.
How’d they get her up?-oops! Wrong QE2!
Thanks! I’d added TVF to the keywords, here’s why.
[snip] I predict that three or more satellites 1-meter in size or larger constitutes a win for eph (thereby conceding a simple binary asteroid with a single, Dactyl-like orbiting moon to the mainstream). [/snip]
I have some dumb questions:
If they didn’t find a moon around Eros how does that establish the exploded planet hypothesis?
How exactly does a planet explode?
TVF said the opposite — that asteroidal moons are predicted by the EPH, and not by any other model. My feeling is, and has been, that asteroidal moons are a pretty trivial thing, and have nothing much to say about the likelihood of the EPH, but it made a nice sidebar. :’)
And regarding how does a planet explode, TVF offered one scenario (overspin) which would/might only apply to recently formed bodies (or bodies which recently got added to in some significant fashion), yet he posited an EP sometime in the last 10 million years, another one sometime shortly before the K-T extinction, etc.
It’s hard for an asteroid to have one, because they are so small.
OTOH, some asteroids are oblong or misshapen, and in those cases probably began as two (or more) asteroids, winding up giving each other the come-hither, until they became one. Of course, a smallish object crossing their mutual path at the right velocity could knock them apart as it was vaporized by the impact.
and while we’re talking about this:
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