Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 2017 VR12 close encounter: image and movie – 15 Feb. 2018

While waiting for this rock to show it live, online, we managed to capture the potentially hazardous asteroid 2017 VR12 on its journey to its safe close encounter with the Earth. Here it is our image.

Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 2017 VR12: 15 Feb. 2018

Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 2017 VR12: 15 Feb. 2018

The image above is the average of 11, 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 asteroid, this is why stars are small trails, while the asteroid looks like a sharp dot of light in the center of the image.

Using all the available images, we managed to create a short animation, showing the motion of 2017 VR12 across the stars. Other apparently moving objects are hot pixels, typical of CCD imaging devices used in astronomy.

Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 2017 VR12, a movie: 18 Feb. 2018

Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 2017 VR12, a movie: 18 Feb. 2018

On 7 Mar. 2018, the date of 2017 VR12 fly-by, we will offer a double live coverage to show it to you, both from Italy and Arizona, thanks to the partnership between the Virtual Telescope Project and Tenagra Observatories, ltd. Join the live streaming is free.

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