On the morning of May 31st the latest in a series of asteroids passing close to Earth will pass about 3.6 million miles from the Earth. At just after 4PM Eastern time astronomers around the world will be focusing high powered telescopes on the near Earth object in a bid to learn more about asteroids and produce high resolution images.
U.S. space agency NASA is becoming more interested in asteroids as they attempt to mount a series of missions involving near Earth objects, including one to redirect and capture an asteroid in coming years.
Asteroid 1998 QE2 is not expected to pose a threat to Earth, although scientists hope to learn more about its future orbit to calculate its future movement’s in relation to our planet.
The asteroid was discovered by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of technology in 1998 and gets its name from the date it was discovered; in relation to the Queen Elizabeth II cruise ship the 1.7 mile wide asteroid is nine times the length of the cruise ship.
Scientists are interested to discover the shape of the asteroid after previously photographed near Earth objects have been shaped like dog bones, diamonds and muffins.