Near-Earth Asteroid 2014 SC324 coming close: a image and video (20 Oct. 2014)
While waiting for the live event covering this object, we observed the near-Earth asteroid 2014 SC324 on its approaching route. Late this next 24 Oct., this 60-meters large object will “touch” a minimum distance of about 570.000 km from us, that is 1.5 lunar distances. Needless to say, it is an absolutely safe distance, no risks at all for the Earth. It will be a wonderful opportunity for all of us to look at this asteroid.
A few hours before of the fly-by, it will be as bright as magnitude 13.5, so easily within the capabilities of a small photographic equipment: so, amateur astronomers, stay tuned! It will be perfectly placed in the sky, especially for those living in the northern hemisphere.
The image above is the average of three, 180-seconds exposures, remotely collected with the PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E robotic unit part of the Virtual Telescope Project. The telescope tracked at the apparent rate of the asteroid. 2014 SC324 is visible as a sharp dot of light in the center, while stars are trailing.
Below a video is available, showing four images taken back to back during the the same session: the asteroid is a sharp dot of light in the center, tracked by the mount, while stars are trailing on the background. Click on the image for the full res version.
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