A glimpse of Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster in space: 23 Feb. 2018

Likely, this is the last image of Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster we could capture. While extremely faint, we managed to grab it and now we are pleased to share it with you.

The Tesla Roadster, imaged on 23 Feb. 2018

The Tesla Roadster, imaged on 23 Feb. 2018

The image above comes from the average of twenty, 300-seconds exposures, remotely taken with the 16″-f/3.75 Tenagra III (“Pearl”) robotic unit in Arizona, available as part of the partnership between the Virtual Telescope Project (Italy) and Tenagra Observatories (Arizona, USA).

The Tesla Roadster is now EXTREMELY faint and it is marked on the image with two red lines. The telescope tracked it apparent motion across the stars, this is way they look like little trails. At the imaging time, the car was about 5 millions of km from us, that is 13 the mean lunar distance. We measured the brightness of the car, which resulted in mag. 21.4, that is about 60 millions times fainter than the Polaris star.

A very clear sky was essential to capture this artificial object, which vision from Arizona is also affected by its low altitude (about 30 deg.) above the horizon.

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