Radar data obtained from NASA’s Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California and the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia were used to make this movie of asteroid 2004 BL86 and its small, newly discovered moon.
The asteroid and its moon passed closer to Earth last Monday (January 26, 2015) than any asteroid this large will again until the year 2027. At its closest, the pair was about three times the moon’s distance.
Bottom line: A movie – made with radar data – of asteroid 2004 BL86 and its newly discovered moon, which passed about three times the moon’s distance on January 26, 2015.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.