QE2 asteroid to fly by Earth from safe distance

AP News
Posted: May 28, 2013 11:00 AM

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — An asteroid more than 1½ miles long will zoom past Earth this week from a far-off distance.

The big rock called Asteroid 1998 QE2 will make its closest approach Friday. It will keep a safe distance of 3.6 million miles, or 15 times the distance between Earth and the moon. You won't be able to see it without a powerful telescope.

It's believed to be about 1.7 miles long, or about nine times the length of the Queen Elizabeth 2 cruise ship. But that has nothing to do with its name. The letters and number in the name represent the timing and sequence of the asteroid's discovery in 1998.

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Scientists will use large radar telescopes to study its shape, rotation and surface features.



NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/asteroids/news/asteroid20130515.html