back to article Passing asteroid MOONS the HUMAN RACE

Space-watchers peering at the fly-by asteroid 2004 BL86 will have missed a detail that NASA caught: the flying mountain has its own moon. Future discoveries excluded, BL86 is expected to be the Earth's nearest-and-largest encounter for quite some years, until it approached its moon hadn't been seen. As states, the …

  1. LaeMing

    So what you are saying... the little bugger mooned us on the way past!

    1. LaeMing

      Re: So what you are saying...

      Either i was very slow when I posted the above, or I influenced a re-do of the article title?

  2. fortran


    It is possible that all the media people are copying from each other, and the first one shifted the decimal point. The writeups I've read, has the moon being between 20 and 25% of the diameter of the asteroid. In the JPL "movie", this seems unlikely unless the orbit is large. But the parent body is not that massive, so the orbit can't be large, otherwise it would escape.

    The original size estimate I seen at Spaceweather, was 680m, and the sizes from JPL are a bit less than half that. If the distance from the surface of the asteroid to the moon is 180m, and this moon is much more reflective than the asteroid is, that would explain why the inital size estimate was off by about a factor of 2.

    And the media is just being "professional" in repeating what everyone else in the media are reporting.

    But, this isn't my area of expertice, and I could be wrong as well.

    1. Martin Budden Silver badge

      Re: Tiny?

      this isn't my area of expertice

      Neither is spelling ;-)

  3. Ru'

    Surely that's just a plucky x-wing pilot dreaming of the womp rats of home whilst lining up an exhaust-port shot?

    1. Mark 85

      Or maybe it's just a TIE Fighter returning to the hanger?

      1. seven of five

        No, it is too far out for a fighter of its size...

        1. Graham Marsden

          That's no moon...

  4. frank ly

    It's big and dark and lonely out in space ...

    ... so I'm not surprised that asteroids get together for companionship.

  5. Sorry, handle already taken

    I think that might be the Freedom and Independence on their approaches

  6. Christoph

    It's the Iron Chicken

  7. Little Mouse

    We're doooooooomed - oh, no, well next time for sure

    Clearly the doom-mongers were right and it is indeed the dark-energy-companion-whatthefuck-asteroid that was going to destroy us all. Just a wee-bit smaller and slightly less end-of-worldy than prophecised.

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