Near-Earth Asteroid 2012 TC4 extremely close encounter: image and movie (09 Oct. 2017)
While waiting for our live event covering it, last night we imaged the near-Earth asteroid 2012 TC4 on its journey to its safe very close approach. Be sure to be back for our live coverage!
The image above comes from the average of two, 120-seconds exposures, remotely taken with “Elena” (PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E) robotic unit available at Virtual Telescope. The telescope tracked the apparent motion of the object, so stars are trailing, while the asteroid looks like a relatively faint dot of light in the center, identified by two red markers. At the imaging time, asteroid 2012 TC4 was at about 1.3 millions of km from us and approaching. This 20-meters large object will safely come within 50.000 km from the Earth on 12 Oct.
At its maximum brightness, this asteroid will be around mag. 12.7, requiring at least a 8-inch (200 mm) large telescope.
The short animation below used 12, 30-seconds exposures, and shows the asteroid moving across the stars and changing its brightness, while it spins around its axis.
See asteroid 2012 TC4 live, online, from the comfort of your home, thanks to the Virtual Telescope Project!
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