Dark, massive asteroid to fly by Earth on May 31

May 18, 2013SPACEIt’s 1.7 miles long. Its surface is covered in a sticky black substance similar to the gunk at the bottom of a barbecue. If it impacted Earth, it would probably result in global extinction. Good thing it is just making a flyby. Asteroid 1998 QE2 will make its closest pass to Earth on May 31 at 1:59 p.m. PDT. Scientists are not sure where this unusually large space rock, which was discovered 15 years ago, originated from. But the mysterious sooty substance on its surface could indicate it may be the result of a comet that flew too close to the sun, said Amy Mainzer, who tracks near-Earth objects at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge. It might also have leaked out of the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, she said. We will know more after the asteroid zips closer to Earth and scientists using the Deep Space Network antenna in Goldstone, Calif., and the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico can get a better look at it. Astronomers at both observatories plan to track it closely from May 30 to June 9, according to a JPL release. At its closest approach the asteroid will still be 3.6 million miles from our planet (about 15 times the distance between the Earth and the moon), but it will be close enough for these powerful radar antennas to see features as small as 12 feet across. “With radar we can transform an object from a point of light into a small world with its own characteristics,” Lance Benner, JPL’s principal investigator for Goldstone radar observations, said in a statement. There is no chance that asteroid 1998 QE2 could collide with Earth this go-around, and its next close approach won’t be until 2119. Still, Mainzer said the size of the asteroid, and its potential for mass destruction, should remind us that there are some scary things flying around in space. –LA Times
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15 Responses to Dark, massive asteroid to fly by Earth on May 31

  1. Funny how we never hear about these things from Nasa until the last minute. Believe me, if one is ever going to crash here, we will never know!

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  2. Puma says:

    I hear some scientists predicted that the asteroid will approach very very close to earth in the year 2027 or 2028. If this happens we probably be able to see it in the sky without using binoculars. But I don’t know, but this could happen.

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  3. George says:

    New NEO 2013KB discovered by NASA will make an even closer approach on the 22-5-13 they are not sure of the orbit yet but possibly as close a 0.008au. see video http://bit.ly/Z3B658

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  4. David of Kernersville says:

    Hmmm, how can this object be related in any way with a COMET since we all know, as NASA has maintained for years that COMETS are just big, dirty snowballs? Could this be a kind of disclosure that their dirty snowball model has always been a snow-job to keep the knowledge from us that COMETS are completely different and demonstrate in dramatic ways their inherent electrical characteristics and the electrical nature of the cosmos?

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  5. Joseph t Repas says:

    Not sure how they “know” the asteroid is covered with a sticky black substance but my guess is that it is left over from the planetary explosion that took place between Mars and Jupiter long ago; As I mentioned before regarding an asteroid I had seen back in 1974 that looked roughly like the shape of a football and spinning end over end like it was ejected from a massive explosion. Some kind of perturbence in the geometric pattern of gravity around the Sun seems to be tugging these objects out of orbit much more frequently. Is it a pull from a distant black hole, or a shift in our relative position to the center of the galaxy….?? I would say for now the Mayans were correct. We have entered a new age; and it does not look good.

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    • JamesKin says:

      I agree with you on all counts, we think we are so smart, the knowledge that
      was known 2500 years ago makes us look like ignorant idiots.

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      • Joseph t Repas says:

        Thanks JamesKin…Yes, what you say reminds me of a song some years ago with the lyrics The more I know the less I understand,,The things I thought I figured out I have to learn again! ” [ Please forgive me,,I want to give proper credit to the artist of that wonderful song but it escapes me at the moment]….Scientific knowledge brings up more questions than answers but can show us the awesomeness and genius of Creator God..Like another famous song says…” he’s got the whole world in His hands!”

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  6. George says:

    2013 KB – Not easy to find on the NASA site here’s a link to the orbit diagram …..

    http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=2013%20KB;orb=1;cov=0;log=0;cad=0#orb

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  7. tonic says:

    If Nasa give us notice of an approach, it’s without doubt, harmless………………

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  8. mommabhappy says:

    I’m really curious in knowing how in the heck do they know its gooey and sticky :/

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  9. Joseph t Repas says:

    I am not worried about the rocks NASA finds…A little more however at the rocks God’s Word says are inevitable and even more so WHY they will inevitably smack us.

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  10. Sparius says:

    It’s a relatively large astroid. It depends on, its mass and the related gravitational magnitude and other characteristics (i.e. magnetic field, normally very very weak) and of course the closest distance it will bypass the earth, how it affects the environment of the earth. If its mass is much less than 0.07349 x 10E+24 kg (moon mass) and its distance is about 15 times Lunar-earth distance then the effect will be negligible for life on earth. The latter is of course when the astroid is also not spraying meaning that its surface is not desintegrating at a very high rate into very small particles blown into space that can be attracted by the earth and dwarrel down into our atmosphere !

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