Asteroid 1998QE2 has been given celebrity status by virtue of the fact that it made a close approach to Earth on 31st May 2013 (3.6 million miles, about 15 times the distance to the Moon) and happens to have QE2 in its name. Apparently, that's entirely a coincidence due to the naming convention when discovering asteroids.

Fortuitously, 1998QE2 is just about the right size (1.7 miles in diameter) for comparisons with the QE2 ocean liner to be somewhat meanginful. The asteroid is about 9 ship-lengths across :


... which makes it about 29 ship-lengths in circumference...


... and about as massive as 300,000 QE2s.


It also has its own moon ! One that's only slightly bigger than the space station! That practically hands this to me on a silver platter... click the image for full resolution, or scroll down for a zoomable version.

 Zoomable version here.


You can also find all of these images and more on my blog.

UPDATE : Further analysis showed that not only is 1998QE2 roughly spherical, but that it's of such low density that it would probably float. Its surface gravity is so low you could (if you were very VERY careful) jump off and land on its moon. For these reasons, I pronounce 1998QE2 to be the best space rock ever (not counting 2013BATATAS, obviously).

If you're wondering who Philip is, you need to learn more about the British monarchy.

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