Near-Earth Asteroid 2016 NF23 close encounter: an image (27 Aug. 2018)
Next 29 Aug. 2018, the near-Earth asteroid 2016 NF23 will have a relatively close encounter with our planet, coming at about 5 millions km from us, more than 13 times the average lunar distance. We managed to capture it last night.
The image above comes from the average of ten, 180-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 show as small trails, while the asteroid looks like a sharp dot of light in the center of the image
At the imaging time, asteroid 2016 NF23 was at about 5.1 millions of km from the Earth and it was still approaching us.On the top of the image, there is bright band, due to the interference of a very strong full Moon, which was less than 40 degrees away. The asteroid was also very low on the horizon, only 24 degrees above it.
This 70-160 meters large asteroid will reach its minimum distance (5 millions of km) from us on 29 Aug. 2018, at 03:38 UTC. Needless to say, there are no risks at all for our planet.
Support The Virtual Telescope Project!
If everyone reading this right now would donate something, our fundraiser would be done in a few days. Please, donate and receive stunning, LIMITED EDITION images with the Tiangong 1 and International Space Station above Rome and one of a potentially hazardous asteroid taken by the Virtual Telescope, specifically made for supporters like you!
donate now (you can adjust the amount later)