I was kinda right.

Last week I was wondering if the QE2 asteroid that was passing by Earth my be trailing some debris that could stray into our atmosphere.

It really wasn’t possible due to the great distance away from us that QE2 passed, but it was a fun speculation.  Actually, it wasn’t even that much of a speculation.  According to NASA about 16 percent of asteroids are binary or triple systems.   Well now it turns out that QE2 has its own moon…sort of.

Radar images take during the flyby reveal that QE2’s moon is about 2,000 feet (600 meters) wide. If moon of QE2 (must give it a better name) hit the Earth, it would be bad day.

But, evidently, you must be this big to destroy the Earth.

The next pass of the QE2 and moon of QE2 (really, really must get better name!) July 12, 2028 it will be much farther away from the Earth at 45 million miles.

At least this has the major governments interested in early detection.  Had QE2 been on a collision course, the only thing we could have done is duck and cover.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

Another swing and a miss.

Asteroid 1998 QE2 will fly by the Earth on May 31 (or June 1st depending upon where you live) at a distance of 3.6 million miles or 5.8 million km.
The size comparison that most everyone is using is that the 1.7 mile or  2.7km long rock is 9 times the size of the Queen Elizabeth II ocean liner.
I am not sure how big that is, but the graphic above puts in a little better perspective for me.
Moon
Additionally, if you are worried that it might hit the Earth, the moon is fifteen times closer at about 230,800 miles.  So, not much of a chance of impact.
However, I am very interested in seeing if there are any little companions travelling with the asteroid.  If you recall, a few hours after the last asteroid that flew by us, a fairly large chunk of something hit in Siberia making a very large explosion.
https://i0.wp.com/images.sdentertainer.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/asteroid2.jpg
Could it be that this wanderer through our neighbouring space is also bringing unwanted guests?  It will be hard to tell until something happens.  We currently don’t have the technology to detect small asteroids and/or comet that are small.  Hopefully, the only thing that happens is that all the scientists get great images, spectra and radar information to work with.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman