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Asteroid's Companion Seen During Earth Fly-by

Moon, Craft, or Celestial Anomaly, you decide


(SNN) - According to astronomers observing an asteroid that flew close to Earth Monday, a surpise was discovered that has the scientific community pondering. Images captured of the near Earth object clearly show another body or object trailing behind as it made it's close approach to the Earth Monday. Scientists are calling it a moon, but since no orbit is detected, it appears to be something else.

The 'moon', [See Image] appears to have an uniform shape, with craters consistent with equal-distance on either side. “It is a strange object indeed,” advised Cavor Bedford, an astronomer from Lympe, England, “it almost appears to be symmetrical, or artificially made.”

The asteroid, officially known as 2004 BL86, is a third of a mile in size. The object trailing behind appears to scale at 230-foot-wide.

Although the asteroid poses no threat to Earth, its trajectory brings it close enough to give astronomers an opportunity to observe it up close.

According to scientists, no other asteroid of this magnitude will pass near Earth until 2027, when an asteroid called 1999 AN10 does a close fly-by.

As for the 'moon' object, nobody really knows what it is. It is hoped that clearer images will be captured over the next few days.

To catch a glimpse at this and other rocks in space you can visit the The Virtual Telescope Project 2.0.


Image: (modified and enhanced), NASA, 2014.

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