CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. Jan 27 (Reuters) – The mountain-sized
asteroid that done a tighten pass by Earth on Monday has a small
moon in tow, radar images expelled by NASA show.
Asteroid 2004 BL86 flew about 745,000 miles (1.2 million km)
from Earth, about 3 times over than a moon, with
closest proceed entrance during 11:19 a.m. EST (1619 GMT) on Monday.
While it acted no hazard to Earth, a flyby did provide
astronomers an event for some close-up studies without
having to launch and work a robotic probe.
Radar images taken by NASA’s Deep Space Network receiver in
Goldstone, California, uncover a 1,100-foot (325 meter) wide
asteroid has a tiny moon in orbit, NASA said.
The moon is about 230 feet in diameter, NASA said.
About 16 percent of asteroids that are about 655 feet or
larger are a binary – with a primary asteroid and a smaller
asteroid moon – or even triple systems, with a primary physique and
two moons, NASA said.
Related images taken with an infrared telescope in Hawaii
show a asteroid is essentially basalt, with a composition
similar to lava flows found in Hawaii.
Asteroids of this form are believed to be pieces of Vesta, a
large protoplanet encircling in a categorical asteroid belt between
Mars and Jupiter, that were bloody into space by impacts, NASA
Monday’s flyby was a closest Asteroid 2004 BL86 will come
to Earth for during slightest a subsequent 200 years.
(Reporting by Irene Klotz, modifying by G Crosse)