Pasadena, CA – Scientists working with NASA’s 230-foot-wide (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, CA, have released a second, longer, more refined movie clip of asteroid 1998 QE2 and its moon. The 55 individual images used in the movie were generated from data collected at Goldstone on June 1st, 2013.
Each of the individual images obtained on June 1st, 2013, required about five minutes of data collection by the Goldstone radar. At the time of the observations that day, asteroid 1998 QE2 was about 3.75 million miles (6 million kilometers) from Earth. The resolution is about 125 feet (38 meters) per pixel.
This image of asteroid 1998 QE2 was obtained on June 1, 2013, when the asteroid was about 3.75 million miles (6 million kilometers) from Earth. The small white dot at lower right is the moon, or satellite, orbiting asteroid 1998 QE2. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSSR)
Washington, D.C. – It’s like deja vu. Another asteroid is paying a visit to the Earth-Moon system.
Asteroids have been a hot topic since February 15th when one small asteroid exploded over Russia and another larger one, 2012 DA14, made a record setting close approach to Earth on the same day. This time the interloper is 1998 QE2, a potentially hazardous asteroid 2.7 km in diameter. Astronomers are preparing to study the space rock as it harmlessly passes by on May 31st.
Written by DC Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Pasadena, CA – On May 31st, 2013, asteroid 1998 QE2 will sail serenely past Earth, getting no closer than about 3.6 million miles (5.8 million kilometers), or about 15 times the distance between Earth and the moon.
And while QE2 is not of much interest to those astronomers and scientists on the lookout for hazardous asteroids, it is of interest to those who dabble in radar astronomy and have a 230-foot (70-meter) — or larger — radar telescope at their disposal.
The orbit of asteroid 1998 QE2. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)
Washington, D.C. – On February 15th, 2012 an asteroid about half the size of a football field will fly past Earth only 17,200 miles above our planet’s surface. There’s no danger of a collision, but the space rock, designated 2012 DA14, has NASA’s attention. It will come closer to the Earth, than any object of it’s since since near earth objects have been monitored.
“This is a record-setting close approach,” says Don Yeomans of NASA’s Near Earth Object Program at JPL. “Since regular sky surveys began in the 1990s, we’ve never seen an object this big get so close to Earth.”
Washington, D.C. – This week, NASA’s Goldstone radar is tracking a large asteroid as it passes by Earth, and obtaining images of unprecedented clarity.
“At closest approach on December 12th, asteroid 4179 Toutatis will be 7 million km away or 18 times farther than the Moon,” says Lance Benner of NASA’s Near Earth Object Program. “There is no danger of a collision with Earth,” but the asteroid will be close enough for radar imaging.
A sampling of Goldstone radar images obtained during the asteroid Toutatis’s December 2012 flyby.