An asteroid nearly a mile (1.5 kilometers) wide with a moon of its own is expected to pass by Earth this weekend.
It is known as asteroid 1999 KW4, was discovered 20 years ago and is traveling in space at 48,000 mph.The asteroid will pass as close as 3.2 million miles from Earth , this is 13 times the distance between the Earth and the moon. There's no chance it will hit Earth. It will be too faint to be seen with the naked eye from the Earth. 1999 KW4 was described as "slightly squashed at the poles and with a mountain ridge around the equator, which runs all the way around the asteroid. This ridge gives the primary an appearance similar to a walnut or a spinning top." Classified as a "potentially hazardous asteroid", the dual system was first discovered by the Lincoln Laboratory's Near Earth Asteroid Research survey (LINEAR) in Socorro, New Mexico.
Lincoln Laboratory's Near Earth Asteroid Research survey (LINEAR) in Socorro
“It’s one of the closest binary flybys probably in recent history,” planetary scientist Vishnu Reddy said to media. Scientists will use dozens of telescopes around the world to collect as much data as they can as the asteroid passes. Amateur astronomers may be able to see it if they use a telescope that's 8" in diameter or larger.