Near-Earth asteroid 2017 TD6 very close encounter: an image (18 Oct. 2017)

The near-Earth asteroid 2017 TD6 was discovered by the Pan-STARRS survey in Hawaii, USA, on 11 Oct. 2017. On 19 Oct. 2017, it will have a very close, but safe encounter with the Earth (about 192.000 km, 0.5 times the mean distance of the Moon). We managed to capture an image.

Near-Earth asteroid 2017 TD6: 18 Oct. 2017

Near-Earth asteroid 2017 TD6: 18 Oct. 2017

At Virtual Telescope Project we could capture 2017 TD6 while it was safely approaching us.

The image above comes from a single,  120-seconds exposure, remotely taken with “Elena” (PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E) robotic unit available at Virtual Telescope. The telescope tracked the fast (37 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 9.9-22 meters and on 19 Oct. 2017, at 18:53 UT, it will reach a minimum distance from the Earth of 192.000 km, with speed relative to Earth of 9.21 km/s.

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