Mile-wide asteroid with its own moon to fly by Earth

A massive double asteroid will be making a close approach to Earth on Saturday.


NSFW    SPACE — A massive asteroid with its own mini moon will be blazing a trail close to Earth this weekend.

According to NASA, Asteroid 1999 KW4 is a binary system composed of a nearly mile-wide main body shaped like a walnut or spinning top, orbited by a smaller rock that is a third of a mile across.

Each orbit takes 17 and a half hours, according to the Las Cumbres Observatory.

NASA reports that the asteroid has been doing flybys several times each century since the 1600s, and will be making another close approach to Earth on May 25.

Although classified as 'potentially hazardous' by the Minor Planet Center, the asteroid will be passing near Earth at a safe distance of more than three million miles, or over 13.5 lunar distances.

CNET reports that Asteroid 1999 KW4 will be moving fast at 48,123 miles per hour when it flies by, which may make it easier for amateur observers to see.

According to NASA, double asteroid's next approach will be closer, but won't be until 2036.
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