Which flew past Earth asteroid was unique




Which flew past Earth asteroid was unique


The asteroid, which flew past Earth last month relates to a new category of space rocks. It differs from other celestial bodies that have approached our planet, scientists said.

31 May 1998 QE2 asteroid with his companion approached the Earth at a distance of 5.8 million kilometers – the most minimum approach distances in the next two centuries. The uniqueness of a binary asteroid could be examined with the help of telescopes the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico.

Asteroid QE2 – dark red and primitive body, which is not heated and melted to the same extent as other asteroids. He does not look like any of us previously observed asteroids. Stone is a newcomer in the zoo asteroids near Earth.

The resulting images helped the researchers to calculate the exact size of the 1998 QE2. An asteroid with dark spots, indicating the craters, has a width of 3 km. His 750-meter satellite makes orbiting every 32 hours.

“Sputnik QE2 is about one-quarter of the main asteroid. Dimensions of the Moon about the same – a quarter of the planet “, – said Patrick Taylor of the Arecibo Observatory.

The study of the satellite and its orbit will help scientists to determine the mass of the main asteroid, which in turn will allow to understand the elemental composition of the space object.

Asteroid 1998 QE2 was launched in August 1998 as part of the research program to find asteroids LINEAR (Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research) in the state of New Mexico. Space rock makes one revolution around the Sun is 3.8 years.

If an asteroid collided with the Earth, the consequences would be very serious. According to scientists, an asteroid the size of any of more than 1 km ability to inflict enormous damage to humanity, mainly changing the climate on our planet.

1998 QE2 is one of 10,000 near-Earth asteroids, fixed today. Scientists estimate that the total number of flying near Earth’s celestial stones greater than 1 million.

In Arisibo Observatory reported that the campaign to monitor the 1998 QE2 ended on June 13.

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