Sunday, June 9, 2013

Asteroid Moon Movie

June 7, 2013: Scientists working with NASA's 230-foot-wide (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif., have released a new and improved movie clip of near-Earth asteroid 1998 QE2 and its moon. The 55 individual images used in the movie were generated from data collected at Goldstone on June 1, 2013.

Asteroid Moon Movie (splash)
In this movie, each of the individual images required about five minutes of data collection by the Goldstone radar. At the time of the observations on June 1st, asteroid 1998 QE2 was about 3.75 million miles (6 million kilometers) from Earth. The resolution is about 125 feet (38 meters) per pixel.   Play the movie!

The asteroid's satellite, or moon, is approximately 2,000 feet (600 meters) wide, has an elongated appearance, and completes a revolution around its host body about once every 32 hours. At any point during its orbit, the maximum distance between the primary body and moon is about 4 miles (6.4 kilometers). Similar to our moon, which always points the same "face" at Earth, the asteroid's satellite appears to always show the same portion of its surface to the primary asteroid. This is called "synchronous rotation."

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Asteroid Moon Video Movie:
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Big Asteroid Flyby Video:
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Sources: NASA Science News, Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology.

Related Blog Posts ---

Moon of Asteroid 1998 QE2 Found by NASA Radar (2013 May 31):

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NASA Coverage: 1998 QE2 Asteroid Passes Earth Friday  (2013 May 30):

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Congress Debates NASA Asteroid Mission--or Back to the Moon? (2013 May 23):

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NASA Wants $100 Million To Catch An Asteroid  (2013 March 30):

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