· ·

Binary asteroid 2002 CE26 to safely flyby Earth on September 9, 2014

binary-asteroid-2002-ce26-flyby-earth-september-9-2014

Asteroid 2014 RC flew past Earth yesterday and left a warning sign in Nicaragua's capital Managua but there is another and bigger asteroid approaching our planet.

Discovered on February 10, 2002, by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) asteroid 2002 CE26 will make a relatively distant approach to Earth within 0.123 AU (18.4 million km) on September 9, 2014. (Echo/JPL)

2002 CE26 is a binary asteroid consisting of a primary space rock 3.5 km in diameter and a secondary approximately one-tenth as wide. The most interesting thing is that radar data suggest the secondary space rock might have a moon of its own which, if true, would make 2002 CE26 a triple system.

NASA astronomers are pinging the system using the Goldstone radar in the Mojave desert since September 5. The Goldstone team should be able to get coarse-resolution images of the primary but echoes from the secondary will be weak and on the edge of detectability.

This asteroid should reach 14th magnitude while at favorable solar elongations, so it should be an excellent target for lightcurves which might detect the signature of at least one satellite and could help refine the orbital period.

Asteroid 2002 CE26

Ephemeris | Orbit Diagram | Orbital Elements | Physical Parameters | Discovery Circumstances | Close-Approach Data ]

Asteroid 2002 CE26 orbit diagram by JPL for September 9, 2014.

Alberto Quijano Vodniza of the University of Narino Observatory in Colombia photographed the asteroid streaking through the constellation Pegasus on September 2:

Click here to set the scene in motion.

Image credit: Alberto Quijano Vodnica via SpaceWeather. Annotation by TW.

Read more:

Featured image credit: Alberto Quijano Vodnica, September 2, 2014.

Share:

Commenting rules and guidelines

We value the thoughts and opinions of our readers and welcome healthy discussions on our website. In order to maintain a respectful and positive community, we ask that all commenters follow these rules:

  • Treat others with kindness and respect.
  • Stay on topic and contribute to the conversation in a meaningful way.
  • Do not use abusive or hateful language.
  • Do not spam or promote unrelated products or services.
  • Do not post any personal information or content that is illegal, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate.

We reserve the right to remove any comments that violate these rules. By commenting on our website, you agree to abide by these guidelines. Thank you for helping to create a positive and welcoming environment for all.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *