Asteroid 2012 QG42 close approach: a memorable online event

Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 2012 QG42 (10 Sept. 2012)

Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 2012 QG42 (10 Sept. 2012)

Now that asteroid 2012 QG42 is leaving us after the close approach, I would like to share with you some thoughts about this experience, which is truly a record in the Virtual Telescope history.

We have been tracking this potentially hazardous asteroid since its discovery by the Catalina Sky Survey late last Aug., also confirming it at the discovery time, and wanted to share its close approach with the world, as we did several times in the past. Of course, the asteroid was at about 3 millions of km from us, an absolutely safe distance, being a very exciting show to see and enjoy up there.

We managed to organize two online events: one on Sept. 11 (in Italian), one on Sept. 12 (in English). The first went very well, with very good skies, while clouds on the 12th forced us to reschedule the event for the next night. Unfortunately, the 13th we still had bad weather, but both 12 and 13 Sept. we really enjoyed some of the many images of the asteroid we collected over the previous weeks.

I was very impressed to see how many important places and portals on the web reported about our online event on 2012 QG42: basically, all the main world sources of information on the web reported it on their home pages.

As a consequence, we had a very large number of visitors, which made 2012 QG42 event by far the most attended in Virtual Telescope history.

Looking at the very accurate statistics, we can say that a total of almost exactly 115.000 individuals from 162 Countries accessed our website to spot this asteroid. We received very positive feedback for those viewers, making us happy after the very hard work to keep all the organization of the event smooth.

I wish to thank all of you for joining and hope you will like to be with us again: we already planned for Oct. 8 the next asteroid cruise on 2012 QE50, another potentially hazardous asteroid, while on Oct. 1 we will give our traditional description of the monthly sky.

Please do not forget to support the Virtual Telescope: your donations or access to exclusive services is what makes possible to the Virtual Telescope to be alive.

Gianluca Masi
founder, the Virtual Telescope Project
Rome, Italy, 14  Sept. 2012

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