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A huge asteroid approaching Earth

posted on: May 31 2013 19:0 by RDugey. Viewed 3077 times.

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Five times larger than asteroid approaching the ocean liner Queen Elizabeth quickly to land, and today will go down in just 5.8 million kilometers, the U.S. space agency NASA reported.

The space object, designated as 1998 QE by scientists "it will be a spectacular target for radar and we hope to get a series of high-resolution images that could reveal much about the characteristics of its surface," said radioastronomo Lance Benner, principal investigator for the radar Goldstone in Pasadena, California.

The interest of the public and the greed of the astronomers are fanning recently after the fall, in February, of a meteorite in Russia whose impact released an energy that the Russian Academy of Sciences estimated at 500 kilotons.

Lincoln of nearby asteroid research program to the land, of the Institute of Masschusets in Socorro, New Mexico, discovered the asteroid on 19 of August 1998.

Scientists estimate the meteorite of Chelyabinsk was about 15 meters in diameter and weighed approximately 10,000 tons.

The 1998 QE2 measures, according to the researchers, almost 2.7 km wide.

On its current path the 1998 QE2 will happen to time 20.59 GMT by its nearest point to Earth - a distance equal to fifteen trips between the Moon and the planet - and it will not reach home to humans for another two hundred years.

Still in the moment is closer to the 1998 land QE2 not can see with the naked eye or binoculars. Is expected full visual brightness of magnitude 11, which would put it in the area of older telescopes.

The magnitude is the degree of brightness of a star based on the human, being the brightest classified as magnitude 1 view. To the naked eye and under optimum conditions the human eye can see stars up to magnitude 6.

The transit of 1998 QE2 has thrilled amateur astronomers and up to the White House has joined the waiting and will offer a tertulia, time 18.00 GMT, by Google .

Both the White House and NASA have on occasion interests that go beyond scientific: in times of fiscal austerity, the Government seeks to convince Congress of the need to allocate funds for the monitoring of space objects approaching the Earth.

United States has the best program on the planet for the detection and census of objects in the regions close to the Earth and so far has discovered around 98 per cent of known bodies.

The participants of the gathering Cybernetics include the exastronauta Ed Lu, who heads the B612 Foundation, which seeks to build a space telescope for observation of asteroids, and Peter Diamandis, co-founder of planetary resources, a firm that aims to exploit the minerals asteroids.

Benner "That an asteroid is approaching both (the Earth) always provides an important scientific opportunity to study in detail and to understand its size, shape, rotation, surface features and anything else that we can learn about its origin," said in a message on the portal of your laboratory.

"Also use new measurements of the distance and speed of the asteroid radar to improve our calculations of its orbit and to compute its movement in the future", continued.

The space policy of the White House, Phil Larson, advisor told the television network NBC News that "we must find asteroids before they find us".

"In the process learn more about the secrets of the solar system and other opportunities that present the space rocks," he added.

The United States space program includes sending astronauts that "capture" an asteroid towards the year 2020.



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