[meteorite-list] Asteroid 2017 BQ6 Resembles Dungeons and Dragons Dice

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2017 14:08:22 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <201702162208.v1GM8MWp017664_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


Asteroid Resembles Dungeons and Dragons Dice
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
February 10, 2017

This composite of 25 images of asteroid 2017 BQ6 was generated with radar
data collected using NASA's Goldstone Solar System Radar in California's
Mojave Desert. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSSR

Radar images of asteroid 2017 BQ6 were obtained on Feb. 6 and 7 with NASA's
70-meter (230-foot) antenna at the Goldstone Deep Space Communications
Complex in California. They reveal an irregular, angular-appearing asteroid
about 660 feet (200 meters) in size that rotates about once every three
hours. The images have resolutions as fine as 12 feet (3.75 meters) per

"The radar images show relatively sharp corners, flat regions, concavities,
and small bright spots that may be boulders," said Lance Benner of NASA's
Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, who leads the agency's
asteroid radar research program. "Asteroid 2017 BQ6 reminds me of the
dice used when playing Dungeons and Dragons. It is certainly more angular
than most near-Earth asteroids imaged by radar."

Asteroid 2017 BQ6 safely passed Earth on Feb. 6 at 10:36 p.m. PST (1:36
a.m. EST, Feb. 7) at about 6.6 times the distance between Earth and the
moon (about 1.6 million miles, or 2.5 million kilometers). It was discovered
on Jan. 26 by the NASA-funded Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR)
Project, operated by MIT Lincoln Laboratory on the Air Force Space Command's
Space Surveillance Telescope at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

Radar has been used to observe hundreds of asteroids. When these small,
natural remnants of the formation of the solar system pass relatively
close to Earth, deep space radar is a powerful technique for studying
their sizes, shapes, rotation, surface features, and roughness, and for
more precise determination of their orbital path.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, manages and operates
NASA's Deep Space Network, including the Goldstone Solar System Radar,
and hosts the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies for NASA's Near-Earth
Object Observations Program within the agency's Science Mission Directorate.

JPL hosts the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies for NASA's Near-Earth
Object Observations Program within the agency's Science Mission Directorate.

More information about asteroids and near-Earth objects can be found at:



For more information about NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office,


For asteroid and comet news and updates, follow AsteroidWatch on Twitter:


News Media Contact
DC Agle
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
agle at jpl.nasa.gov

Received on Thu 16 Feb 2017 05:08:22 PM PST

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