Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (1566) Icarus: a flyby image and a movie (16 June 2015)
Last 16 June, the potentially hazardous asteroid (1566) Icarus had a rare, relative close encounter with the Earth, touching a minimum distance of about 8 millions of km from the us.
That night, the sky was heavily cloudy and only for an handful of minutes it cleared for a quick capture.
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 (46″/minute) apparent motion of the asteroid, so stars are trailing, while the asteroid is perfectly tracked (the minor planet is the sharp dot in the center). At the imaging time, the object was at about mag. 14.0 and at about 8.07 millions km from our planet.
Below is a movie from 48, 60-seconds images captured the night before (15 June), from 20:39 to 21:12 UT. Sometimes clouds interfere with the images.
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