Near-Earth Asteroid 2015 KW120 getting close: an image (28 May 2015)
While coming for its close encounter with the Earth on 29 May 2015, we managed to image near-Earth asteroid 2015 KW120 while it was approaching us.
The image above is a single 120-seconds exposure, remotely taken with PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E robotic unit part of the Virtual Telescope. The robotic mount tracked the fast (110″/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. 15.7 and at about 760.000 km from our planet.
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 Chinese CZ-5B falling rocket, captured from Rome, images of the International Space Station above Rome and more, specifically made for supporters like you!
donate now (you can adjust the amount later)