Near-Earth Asteroid 2016 FW13 extremely close encounter: a stunning image (04 April 2016)

Near-Earth asteroid 2016 FW13: an image (4 April 2016)

Near-Earth asteroid 2016 FW13: an image (4 April 2016)

On 5 April 2016, at 02:21 UT, the 6 meters large near-Earth asteroid 2016 FW13 made an extremely close, but safe, encounter with our home planet, coming within 320.000 km.

At Virtual Telescope we tried to grab it, despite the weather was uncertain and the sky hazy.

The image above is a single 180-seconds exposure, remotely taken with PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E robotic unit part of the Virtual Telescope. The robotic mount tracked the VERY fast (305″/minute) apparent motion of the asteroid, so stars are trailing, while the asteroid is perfectly tracked (the minor planet is the little sharp dot in the center). At the imaging time, the object was at about mag. 18.5 and at about 356.000 km from our planet. This is, once again, a super result, showing the amazing capabilities of the Virtual Telescope in tracking extremely demanding asteroids.

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