Near-Earth asteroid 2013 RZ5: very close approach (4 Sept. 2013)
On 4 Sept. 2013, at 06:59 UT the near-Earth asteroid 2013 RZ5 reached a minimum distance from the Earth of about 440.000 km, about 1.15 times the average distance of the Moon.
Few hours before, the PlaneWave 17″ robotic unit slewed to this fast moving asteroid, a truly difficult target to image because of its extremely fast apparent motion. The very advanced technology available at the Virtual Telescope made possible to win this challenge: the Paramount ME robotic mount tracked this 7 meters large asteroid with its 220″/minute rate and the result is shown above.
The image is the average of two, 120 seconds exposures and the asteroid is marked by two red lines. Without the advanced tracking feature used, it was impossible to succeed in this task.
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