Near-Earth asteroid 2015 JF1 coming close: an image (14 May 2015)

Near-Earth asteroid 2015 JF1: an image (14 May 2015)

Near-Earth asteroid 2015 JF1: an image (14 May 2015)

While waiting for its close encounter with the Earth on 15 May 2015, at Virtual Telescope we managed to image near-Earth asteroid 2015 JF1 while it was approaching us.

The image above is a single 180-seconds exposures, remotely taken with PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E robotic unit part of the Virtual Telescope. The robotic mount tracked the fast (90″/minute) apparent motion of the asteroid, so stars are trailing, while the asteroid is perfectly tracked (the asteroid is the little dot in the center, marked with two white lines). At the imaging time, the object was very faint, at about mag. 17.3 and at about 750.000 km from our planet.

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