Near-Earth asteroid 2018 CB extremely close encounter: a stunning image and video (9 Feb. 2018)

Recently, the near-Earth asteroid 2018 CB had an extremely close encounter with the Earth, coming as close as 64.000 km from the surface of our planet. We showed it live, online to many thousands of viewers, while it was almost kissing us. Here they are a truly spectacular image and an awesome video.

Near-Earth asteroid 2018 CB: 9 Feb. 2018

Near-Earth asteroid 2018 CB: 9 Feb. 2018

At Virtual Telescope we managed to share it live with the world, as we have been doing for more than a decade now, every time an asteroid comes to brush our planet. Once again, it was an extremely complex task, because the asteroid was moving in the sky EXTREMELY FAST, but our hardware handled it so well, showing the state-of-the-art technology involved in our project.

The image above is a single, 120-seconds exposure, remotely taken with “Elena” (PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E) robotic unit available at Virtual Telescope. At the imaging time, the telescope was tracking with an exceptional rate of 1111 arc-seconds per minute: in about 3 minutes, it moved of one degree in the sky, twice the angular size of the Moon. Asteroid 2018 CB is the sharp dot in the center. To get these impressive results, the Paramount ME robotic mount tracked on the object thanks to the available orbital elements of the object. At the imaging time, asteroid 2018 CB was at about 70.000 km from the surface of the Earth, less than 1/5th of the average Moon distance. The asteroid is perfectly tracked: it is the obvious, sharp dot in the center.

We also managed to take almost 900 images, back to back, to create the impressive video below, which runs 136X times faster than the asteroid in the sky.

Finally, find below the podcast from our live, online coverage

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