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Large Asteroid Safely Zips Past Earth, Dragging its Own Moon Along

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PASADENA, Calif. — The world is OK — at least this time — and scientists are psyched.

asteroid-pic

The first radar images of asteroid 1998 QE2 were obtained when it was about 3.75 million miles from Earth. (NASA)

An asteroid dubbed 1998 QE2 whizzed past Earth on Friday, with its own moon in tow.

“#asteroidQE2 has sailed harmlessly past Earth,” NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory tweeted around 5 p.m. ET.

It got within about 3.6 million miles of our planet. That’s close relatively given the vastness of space, but still more than 15 times the distance from wherever you are to our moon.

The fly-by had astronomers less fearful and more excited about getting the “best look at this asteroid ever,” according to NASA.

The resulting images should be of similar quality to those obtained when spacecraft get up close to asteroids, Lance Benner of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said.

Click here to read the full story on CNN.com.

 

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