Asteroids are familiar to most people, mostly from Hollywood blockbusters – another way to see the giant paving stones of the universe in everyday life are rarely provided. But already this weekend one of the cosmic "neighbors" of the Earth, and even in the company of its own moon, will get close to the planet at a distance sufficient for observation.
Asteroids are widely distributed in the solar system, but the object under code number 1999 KW4 stands out against the background of many “clones” with an unusual property. Despite the miniature dimensions (about 1.6 kilometers in diameter), the celestial body in the form of a walnut acquired its own satellite, rotating around it. A unique object that intersects the orbits of three planets at once, was discovered in 1999, and on Saturday, May 25, it will once again get closer to Earth and will pass at a distance of 5.18 million kilometers from the planet.
According to the European Space Agency, the asteroid does not pose a threat to humanity and is not included in the “risk group” of space bodies. Independently observe the object 1999 KW4 will be using the amateur telescope from 25 to 27 May. The next time such an opportunity will be presented to scientists and enthusiasts only in 2036.