Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (467317) 2000 QW7 close encounter: an image (13 Sept. 2019)

Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (467317) 2000 QW7 had a relatively close, safe encounter with our planet a few hours ago, coming at about 5.3 millions km from us, 13.9 times the average lunar distance. We imaged it before the fly-by  and are pleased to share it with you.

Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (467317) 2000 QW7: 13 Sept. 2019

Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (467317) 2000 QW7: 13 Sept. 2019

The image above comes from the average of five, 60-seconds exposure, 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, the Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA) (467317) 2000 QW7 was at about 5.4 millions of km from the Earth and it was heading to the mentioned close approach. Its estimated diameter sits somewhere in the 290 m – 650 m range.

Taking these images was quite difficult: the asteroid was only 10 degrees high above the horizon and just 30 degrees away from the extremely bright full Moon.

We could contribute to this story on the salon.com website.

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