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Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

Florence’s two moons

September 7, 2017

Center for NEO Studies PR on Astronomy Now:

Radar images of asteroid 3122 Florence obtained at the 70-metre antenna at NASA’s Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex between August 29 and September 1 have revealed that the asteroid has two small moons, and also confirmed that main asteroid Florence is about 4.5 km (2.8 miles) in size. Florence is only the third triple asteroid known in the near-Earth population out of more than 16,400 that have been discovered to date. All three near-Earth asteroid triples have been discovered with radar observations and Florence is the first seen since two moons were discovered around asteroid 1994 CC in June 2009.

Imagine being able to spot two gnats zipping around a common housefly at 100 yards. We can do this routinely now in inner-space.

While I’m not anxious to see many large NEOs like Florence coming within only a few AUs of Earth, I do love the observations we get to see. Some of the images are pretty crisp.