Asteroid 1998 QE2 will fly by the Earth on May 31 (or June 1st depending upon where you live) at a distance of 3.6 million miles or 5.8 million km.
The size comparison that most everyone is using is that the 1.7 mile or 2.7km long rock is 9 times the size of the Queen Elizabeth II ocean liner.
I am not sure how big that is, but the graphic above puts in a little better perspective for me.
Additionally, if you are worried that it might hit the Earth, the moon is fifteen times closer at about 230,800 miles. So, not much of a chance of impact.
However, I am very interested in seeing if there are any little companions travelling with the asteroid. If you recall, a few hours after the last asteroid that flew by us, a fairly large chunk of something hit in Siberia making a very large explosion.
Could it be that this wanderer through our neighbouring space is also bringing unwanted guests? It will be hard to tell until something happens. We currently don’t have the technology to detect small asteroids and/or comet that are small. Hopefully, the only thing that happens is that all the scientists get great images, spectra and radar information to work with.
– Ex astris, scientia –
I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +