Nasa’s radar images have identified the asteroid Florence that passed close to Earth on Friday, September 1st, was equipped with two small moons.
Florence, largest asteroid to have approached close to Earth in more than a century, has two small moons, showed radar images from NASA, captured during his visit on the 1st September at a distance of seven million kilometers.
— NASA (@NASA) 1 September 2017
This is the third triple asteroid passing near our planet from over 16,400 of these celestial bodies discovered to date in the Earth’s vicinity, says the US space agency on its website .
Both moons were detected by the antenna 70 meters in diameter at Goldstone Center of NASA, in the Mojave Desert in California, between the 29th August and 1st September. This is the first asteroid with two moons since discovered the asteroid 1994 CC in June 2009.
4.5 km in diameter
These observations also confirmed that Florence, discovered in March 1981, measured 4.5 km in diameter.
This is the largest celestial object to have crossed our planet as close since the discovery of the first asteroid in the Earth’s vicinity there are more than a century, said NASA.
Many asteroids approached more the Earth, but all were smaller than Florence, according to Paul Chodas, head of NASA Center for the study of objects near the Earth.
Florence should not return to our planet until October 2024 and should not come as close before 500 years, reports NASA.