Asteroid 1998 QE2 — in two weeks


By the Earth sweeps asteroid the size of almost three kilometers in diameter. Another end of the world?

On the night of June 1, will fly past our planet giant rock called 1998 QE2. The asteroid is 9 times greater than the size of one of the largest ocean liners — Queen Elizabeth 2. Although by the name of the vessel is irrelevant. It's just the code that is used for a newly discovered asteroid the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. And the year 1998 indicates the time of its opening.

Approximation Space guest spotted in time specialists space agency NASA. They calculated how far pebble whistles over our heads. And sighed with relief: 1998 QE2 for earthlings is not dangerous. The flight path of the asteroid will be at a distance of about six million kilometers from Earth. This is 15 times the distance between Earth and the Moon.

The scheme approach the asteroid with the Earth.
Photo: NASA.

We are confident that everything will be, but just in case, decided to prepare for the arrival of asteroid — recognized leading expert Dr. Lance Benner of NASA.

Scientists are preparing to probe an asteroid with a huge telescope, located at the Goldstone Observatory in the Mojave Desert (California). The goal — to get information about its shape, chemical composition, and above all — orbit. These data may help determine the origin of the visitor from outer space and to predict the possible movement of a swinger in the future, 200 years later, in 1998 when the QE2 will come back again.

Recall that the serious concerns among experts, causing two other asteroid. This is Apophis, who in 2029, the year will be close enough — 36,000 kilometers. And the asteroid 1999 RQ36K that approach even closer to nshey planet in 2182. According to Dr. Benner, they pose a potential threat.

Svetlana Cousin

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