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Asteroid Flies by Earth with Its Own Moon in Tow

Scientists and space lovers had their telescopes trained on the sky Monday and Tuesday. That's because they were hoping to catch a glimpse of an asteroid the size of a mountain in a rare close fly-by with Earth.

The asteroid, which could easily cover the space of five football fields, passed by Earth Monday with a surprise - its own tiny moon! NASA released these images of the asteroid spinning through space along with its satellite, a 230-foot-wide ball of rock. But don't worry, both objects were about 745,000 miles from earth at their closest point, as you can see in this animation released by NASA. That's much further away than the moon you see every night before bed.

Because of the close fly-by, scientists are hoping to make more discoveries from data collected by instruments on the ground and in orbit.

stephanie.jarvis@ideastream.org | 216-916-6340