Binary Asteroid in Earth Fly-By


Scientists just realized that an asteroid currently speeding past our planet at six times the distance of the moon is not a single object, but two objects orbiting one another:

Asteroid“It will not strike the planet. But scientists want to learn more about binary asteroids because one day they might find one headed our way. Deflecting a binary off course could be considerably more challenging than altering the path of a single rock…The objects are estimated to be 1,970 feet (600 meters) and 650 feet (200 meters) in diameter. The larger one rotates upon its axis in 3 hours or less.”

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Posted July 15, 2008 at 5:30pm ETC by Andy Towle
in News, Space