We visited the asteroid "Florence" is so great that it has two satellites

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2017-09-08 12:00:05

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We visited the asteroid

Who Visited us last week asteroid "Florence" passed our planet at a distance of 7 million kilometers. To Land this block is not a threat, but it is the big asteroid coming so close to our planet over the last one hundred years.

The Asteroid is so great that apparently he has two tiny moons, if according to the images obtained aerospace Agency NASA, with 31 on 1 September, when the "Florence" as close to the Ground.

"Despite the fact that many asteroids before the "Florence" was approaching considerably closer to the Ground, they were all much smaller in size. "Florence" is the largest asteroid that approached our planet, since, as NASA launched a program for the detection of hazardous near-earth objects" — commented Paul Chodas from the Lab reaktywnego motion NASA, Manager of the Center for observations of near-earth objects (Center for Near-Earth Object Studies).

So how much should the asteroid so that he even got satellites? The size of the "Florence" is 4.4 in diameter. The satellites themselves are much smaller – something between 100-300 meters. One of them is closer to the asteroid, the other away from him. The time of orbital rotation period of the inner satellite is about 8 hours, something between 22 and 27 hours.

Have satellites for asteroid – a very unusual feature. Only about 60 of the 16 400 known near-earth objects have at least one satellite. Triple the asteroids, i.e. asteroids with two moons, are much less common. "Florence" is just one of the three known near-earth objects has such a feature. The other two — an asteroid 1994 CC, which in 2009 was discovered satellites, and the asteroid 2001 SN263, which satellites were discovered in 2008.

But none of them are as close as "Florence" did not come close to our planet that had an opportunity to observe such a rare guest at a close distance. The asteroid continued its journey around the Sun.

The Asteroid not only "boasted" by the presence of satellites. Obtained by NASA image provided a little more information about the stone itself. It turns out that it is almost round, but has a slightly tapered shape in the Equatorial part. On the asteroid there is at least one large crater.

The American space Agency is going to continue to watch the "Florence" within the next few days, as the possibility of another visit of this thing, apparently, will come soon. The last time Florence was close to the Ground was in 1890. According to the calculations of astronomers a new visit so close to this giant, it is not necessary to wait until at least 2500 years.

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