Missed Us By That Much

20150126 flybyNASA’s 70-m Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California, was used to collect these radar images of asteroid 2004 BL86. They show the asteroid, which made its closest approach 16:19 UTC yesterday at a distance of about 1.2 million km (about 3.1X the distance from Earth to the Moon).They also show that the asteroid has its own small moon.

Video Credit: NASA

12 thoughts on “Missed Us By That Much


  1. Interesting that an asteroid can have a moon.I wouldn’t have guessed that asteroids have enough mass to hold a moon.


    • It’s not question of how much mass, per se, but that the gravitational attraction between them is greater than other forces acting upon them.

      For instance, two ordinary marbles will orbit each other if their mutual gravitational attraction is greater than the other forces acting to move them away from one another.

      Gravity is a weak force, but it acts at any distance.

      My gravitational attraction is acting on YOU, right now!!!!! And there’s nothing you can do about it!

      BWAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH!!!!!!1!111!!eleventy!!!

      😉


  2. I am just thankful that our manned space program is alive and well and we are very close to having the capability of landing on that celestial body and altering its course with nuclear warheads.

    Wait.

    Never mind.

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