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Asteroid 1998 QE2 gets a closer look from the world's widest radio dish

15 Jun 2013, 05:27 UTC
Asteroid 1998 QE2 gets a closer look from the world's widest radio dish
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The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico has captured the most detailed radar images yet of asteroid 1998 QE2 and its newly discovered moon.
A sequence of pictures released on Friday shows the 1.9-mile-wide (3-kilometer-wide) asteroid rotating in outer space while its 2,500-foot-lo …

Asteroid 1998 QE2 turns while its moon zips upward. Credit: Ellen Howell / NASA / AreciboBy Alan Boyle, Science Editor, NBC News

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The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico has captured the most detailed radar images yet of asteroid 1998 QE2 and its newly discovered moon.A sequence of pictures released on Friday shows the 1.9-mile-wide (3-kilometer-wide) asteroid rotating in outer space while its 2,500-foot-long (750-meter-long companion zips around it. The asteroid and its moon sped past Earth harmlessly at a minimum distance of 3.6 million miles (5.8 million kilometers) on May 31."Asteroid QE2 has no chance of hitting Earth," Michael Nolan, head of the 1,000-foot-wide (300-meter-wide) telescope's asteroid radar group, said in a statement from the Universities Space Research Association, or USRA.
The Arecibo Observatory, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, is the world's largest and most sensitive single-dish radio telescope. Astronomers have been using Arecibo and NASA's Goldstone radar installation in California to ...

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