Near-Earth Asteroid 2012 TC4: a great show for a super event (12 Oct. 2017)
Finally,, the near-Earth asteroid 2012 TC4 safely brushed us and at Virtual Telescope we could show it to the world, live, online, as we always do when something special happens up there in the sky.
The image above comes from a single, 10-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 bright dot of light in the center, identified by two red markers. At the imaging time, asteroid 2012 TC4 was at about 250.000 of km from us and approaching.
Below is an animation where we used all the 170 images we collected during the event, showing 2012 TC4 while it surfs the skies also changing brightness in about 44 minutes, as it was rapidly spinning around its axis. Here you can download the full res animation.
It was amazing to see it flying across the sky, image after image, with many tens of thousands of curious people following it with us, online. We wish to thank all those who featured our live feed, making possible to an even larger audience to join.
Below is the podcast of our streaming, so that you can enjoy it, if you missed the live feed:
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 stunning, LIMITED EDITION images with the Tiangong 1 and International Space Station above Rome and one of a potentially hazardous asteroid taken by the Virtual Telescope, specifically made for supporters like you!
donate now (you can adjust the amount later)