LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
NEWSCAST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

LOOK! The Asteroid That Flew Past Earth Tuesday Has Its Own Moon

A series of images show that  asteroid 2004 BL86 has a small moon.

In celestial terms, asteroid 2004 BL86 pretty much buzzed the Earth on Tuesday, coming within 745,000 miles of our planet.

As NPR's Sam Sanders explained, Monday's flyby is the closest a known asteroid of this size will pass by Earth in at least the next two centuries.

This means that when the asteroid flew by yesterday, scientists trained their instruments on the body. Scientists using the Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif., captured a stunning set of images that revealed 2004 BL86 has a small moon.

Take a look:

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory explains this phenomenon is actually pretty common:

"The 20 individual images used in the movie were generated from data collected at Goldstone on Jan. 26, 2015. They show the primary body is approximately 1,100 feet (325 meters) across and has a small moon approximately 230 feet (70 meters) across. In the near-Earth population, about 16 percent of asteroids that are about 655 feet (200 meters) or larger are a binary (the primary asteroid with a smaller asteroid moon orbiting it) or even triple systems (two moons). The resolution on the radar images is 13 feet (4 meters) per pixel."

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)
contact@kansaspublicradio.org