NASA spots the ‘peanut’ asteroid

The hype about flybys

It’s not an unusual a thing, more of an everyday occurrence that there is some news about asteroids flying by Earth. Usually sparking intrigue and some small discussion about what would happen if it would hit Earth. Most flybys have a name and The peanut asteroid is no different.

The peanut asteroid

Picture this, it is nearing the end of the twentieth century, and all the world is abuzz with the end of the world and new millennia mania. But in the May of 1999, a new asteroid was discovered at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Az. From that point on, because of its appearance akin to that of a peanut, it was dubbed the space peanut. The peanut asteroid’s official name is the 1999 JD6. Footage compiled over several images over seven hours can be seen here. Additional information is available there as well. The instruments used to compile the images that you see in the video were located in two different places. One of which was the Deep Space Network antenna located in Goldstone, California. The other instrument was the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia. Using both of these, the signal was shot to the peanut asteroid in order for the telescope in Green Bank to receive the signal reflections, and capture the images.

Additional information

The data was collected on the 25th of July, marking this flyby as the peanut asteroid’s closest approach to Earth ever. However the peanut asteroid won’t make another flyby debut until around forty years from now, sometime around 2054. From what has been gathered, the scientists examining the information have said that disagreements on the actual size of the asteroid will be resolved. Before this, it was an estimation from educated guesses to other information, but hopefully it will be resolved now. The asteroid has been a focus of many studies, so a lot about the asteroid is now known, and not so much a mystery any more. There is plenty of time wait until the asteroid’s next flyby around 2054.


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