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Asteroid 1998 QE2 Has a Moon!

asteroid 1998 qe2 moon

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#1 Crisp

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 14:00

Asteroid 1998 QE2 Has a Moon!

Say hello to my little rocky friend: Asteroid (285263) 1998 QE2 has a moon!

The asteroid pair is currently on a relatively near pass of Earth, sailing by us at a closest approach of just under 6 million kilometers (3.6 million miles) later today. Asteroids that get this close are of particular interest to astronomers, because that means we can use radio telescopes to bounce radar off them, which can lead to a better determination of their size, shape, speed, and position.

Using the Goldstone telescope in California, astronomers were surprised to find that 1998 QE2 is actually a binary asteroid, a big rock being orbited by smaller one.


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#2 Growled

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 03:58

The asteroid must have one heck of a strong gravity for something so small.

#3 +Phouchg

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 09:38

Indeed. I figure this asteroid must have gotten its moon just recently. Or how come none of other planets and bodies with, I presume, much stronger pull haven't stolen it?

On an unrelated note: what happens if an asteroid of a prominent proportions hits a gas planet like The Jup?