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ASTEROID 1998 QE2 TO SAIL PAST EARTH NINE TIMES LARGER THAN CRUISE SHIP ...

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How to Spot Near-Earth Asteroid 1998 QE2 This Week




by David Dickinson on May 27, 2013

A large asteroid visits our fair corner of the solar system this week, and with a little planning you may just be able to spot it.

Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) 285263 (1998 QE2) will pass 6.2 million kilometres from the Earth on Friday, May 31st at 20:59 Universal Time (UT) or 4:59PM EDT. Discovered in 1998 during the LIncoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) sky survey looking for such objects, 1998 QE2 will shine at magnitude +10 to +12 on closest approach. Estimates of its size vary from 1.3 to 2.9 kilometres, with observations by the Spitzer Space Telescope in 2010 placing the ballpark figure towards the high end of the scale at 2.7 kilometres in diameter.



1998 QE2 would fit nicely with room to spare in Oregon’s 8 kilometre-wide Crater Lake.
Though this passage is over 15 times as distant as the Earth’s Moon, the relative size of this space rock makes it of interest. This is the closest…