Near-Earth Asteroid 2018 DU very close encounter: an image (25 Feb. 2018)

On 25 Feb. 2018, the near-Earth asteroid 2018 DU will make a very close encounter with the Earth, safely coming closer than the Moon. We captured it to share it with you.

Near-Earth asteroid 2018 DU: 25 Feb. 2018

Near-Earth asteroid 2018 DU: 25 Feb. 2018

The image above comes from a single, 120-seconds exposure, 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 telescope tracked the apparent motion of the asteroid, this is why stars leave long trails, while the asteroid looks like a sharp dot of light in the center of the image.At the imaging time, asteroid 2018 DU was at about 315.000 km from the Earth, closer than our Moon, and it was approaching us. This ~10 meters large asteroid will reach its minimum distance (284.000 km) from us on 25 Feb. 2018, at 18:22 UTC.

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