Near-Earth Asteroid 2016 LT1 very close encounter: an image (06 June 2016)
On June 7, at 20:25 UT the 6-meters large asteroid 2016 LT1 will have an extremely close encounter with the Earth, reaching a minimum distance from us of 153.000 km, 0.4 times the mean distance of the Moon. This is a largely safe encounter. 2016 LT1 was discovered on 4 June by the Panstarrs survey in Hawaii.
While it was approaching us, at Virtual Telescope we managed to capture it, thanks to our advanced technology, making our system just wonderful for this.
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 fast (30″/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. 18.0 and at about 1.6 millions km from our planet and approaching.
This approach is coming on the eve of the Asteroid Day international event, when the Virtual Telescope will offer a lot of online activities.
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