Asteroid 2012 SW2 close approach

Near-Earth asteroid 2012 SW2 (18 Sept. 2012)

Near-Earth asteroid 2012 SW2 (18 Sept. 2012)

On 16 Sept. 2012 Richard E. Hill, from Mt. Lemmon in Arizona, discovered a small near-Earth asteroid, 2012 SW2, going to have a close approach with our planet on Sept 19, at 14:19 UT, when it will be 1.8 lunar distances away from our planet. Needless to say, no risks at all for the Earth.

On Sept. 18, 20:19 UT, the Virtual Telescope PW17 unit was slewed to this little body, having a diameter around 10 meters. At that time, it was at about 1.3 millions of km from us and it was moving very fast, with an apparent motion of 90″ per minute! The telescope’s Paramount ME robotic mount was asked to track the asteroidal motion and it made possible to image it.

The result is above and it is a brilliant demonstration of the state-of-the-art hardware available at the Virtual Telescope Project facility.


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