Asteroid 1998 QE2

Asteroid 1998 QE2 which is about 9 times larger than the Queen Elizabeth 2 ship is likely to whisk past Earth on May 31. But it is not to pose any serious danger to our Earth. Instead this visit of the asteroid would be a minefield of information for astrophysicists around the world.

Asteroid 1998 QE2 will sail past Earth on May 31, getting no closer than about 3.6 million miles (5.8 million kilometers),
or about 15 times the distance between Earth and the Moon. The closest approach of the asteroid occurs on May 31 at 1:59 pm. This is the closest approach the asteroid will make to Earth for at least the next two centuries.

Asteroid 1998 QE2

Asteroid 1998 QE2 was discovered on Aug. 19, 1998, by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) program near Socorro, New Mexico.The asteroid is about 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometers) in length.

The name 1998QE2 for this asteroid is assigned by the NASA-supported Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

Usually the naming of asteroids is done by starting with the year of first detection, along with an alphanumeric code indicating the half-month it was discovered, and the sequence within that half-month.

sun    Sun
Moon    Moon
Mercury    Mercury
Venus    Venus
Mars    Mars
jupiter    Jupiter
saturn    Saturn
uranus    Uranus
neptune    Neptune
pluto    Pluto
chiron    Chiron