2017-08-31. Big Space Rock to Pass near Earth on Friday.

posted Sep 3, 2017, 12:14 AM by Alan Gould
By Katherine Kornei, Eos/AGU. For GSS A Changing Cosmos chapter 1. Excerpt: An asteroid named for Florence Nightingale will make its closest approach to our planet since 1890 but will remain a safe distance away. In the roughly 2 decades that scientists have systematically tracked asteroids speeding past Earth, never before has one so large come so close. On Friday, an asteroid called Florence will zip by our planet just 7 million kilometers away, or about 18 times the Earth–Moon distance, according to NASA. Many other asteroids have come closer, but none was as big as Florence, which measures about 4 kilometers in diameter. ...Researchers will also be using NASA’s Goldstone Solar System Radar facility in California’s Mojave Desert to determine whether Florence has a natural satellite of its own, a moon. Fifteen percent of asteroids have moons, Mainzer noted, and finding a moon orbiting Florence would make it possible to calculate the asteroid’s mass.... https://eos.org/articles/big-space-rock-to-pass-near-earth-on-friday