Near-Earth Asteroid 2018 RC very close encounter: image and podcast (8 Sept. 2018)
We shared live the near-Earth asteroid 2018 RC while it was close to its minimum distance from our planet. It was a great experience, with many thousands of viewers connected from all around the world. Here it is a postcard from the event.
The image above comes from a single, 180-seconds exposure, remotely taken with “Elena” (PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E) robotic unit available at Virtual Telescope. The telescope tracked the fast (140″/minute) apparent motion of the asteroid, this is why stars show as small trails, while the asteroid looks like a bright, sharp dot of light in the center of the image.
At the imaging time, asteroid 2018 RC was at about 330.000 km from the Earth and it was on its way safely approaching us.
This 32-71 meters large asteroid will reach its minimum distance (220.000 km) from us next 9 Sept. 2018, at 12:09 UTC. Needless to say, there are no risks at all for our planet.
Below is the podcast from our live streaming covering the flyby.
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 panel showing the evolution of comet 46P/Wirtanen over the last weeks and more amazing images, specifically made for supporters like you!
donate now (you can adjust the amount later)
You can also order our 2019 Calendar, featuring our unique images of the stars above the legendary monuments of Rome!