Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 2017 VR12 close encounter: an image (02 Mar 2018)
We imaged the potentially hazardous asteroid 2017 VR12 while it is making ready for its show, early next week. We will show it live, online, meantime we are happy to share this image with you.
The image above comes 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 short trails, while the asteroid looks like a bright, sharp dot of light in the center of the image. When we imaged it, asteroid 2017 VR12 was at about 3.1 millions of km from the Earth and it was approaching us.
This ~350 meters large asteroid will reach its minimum distance (1.4 millions of km) from us on 07 Mar. 2018, at 07:53 UTC. For a few nights, it will be also visible with small telescopes.
We will show it live, online while it will be at its minimum distance from us!
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