Near-Earth asteroid 2017 UA close encounter: an image (17 Oct. 2017)
On 17 Oct. 2017, the near-Earth asteroid 2017 UA made a close encounter with the Earth, safely coming almost as close as the Moon. At Virtual Telescope we did some nice images while it was leaving us.
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 fast (110 arc-seconds per minute) apparent motion of the object, so stars are trailing, while the asteroid looks like a faint dot of light in the center.
The size of this objects is in the range of 5-11 meters and on 17 Oct. 2017, at 15:16 UT, it reached a minimum distance from the Earth of 456.000 km, with speed relative to Earth of 7.8 km/s.
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