Near-Earth asteroid (277475) 2005 WK4 is reaching its minimum distance (5 Aug. 2013)
On 5 Aug. 2013, the PlaneWave 17″ robotic unit was asked to point the approaching near-Earth asteroid (277475) 2005 WK4, to get some astrometry useful to refine its orbit. At the imaging time, it was at about 4.3 millions of km from us and apparently moving with a rate of 17″/minute.
Above is a screenshot captured during the remote session, with the pinpoint asteroid sitting at the center of the field of view and an artificial satellite leaving a faint, long trail, while stars are apparently shifting, too. This because the Paramount ME robotic mount tracked the apparent motion of the minor planet.
Below is another image, coming from the average of 5, 300 seconds exposures, all from the live session above.
Support The Virtual Telescope Project!
If everyone reading this right now would donate something, our fundraiser would be done in a few days. Please, donate and receive unique, LIMITED EDITION set of images of the Jupiter-Saturn Great Conjunction, images of the International Space Station above Rome and more, specifically made for supporters like you!
donate now (you can adjust the amount later)