Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (162082) 1998 HL1 and galaxy NGC 684: a strange meeting

The Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (162082) 1998 HL1 had a close encounter with us a few nights ago. While we were sharing it live via our website, this space rock had another meeting: it “crossed” the spiral, edge-on galaxy NGC 684. Of course, it was mere question of perspective, but it was so nice to see in real time with many thousands of people.

Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (162082) 1998 HL1 and galaxy NGC 684 - 25 Oct. 2019

Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (162082) 1998 HL1 and galaxy NGC 684 – 25 Oct. 2019

The image above comes from a single 300-seconds exposure, remotely taken with “Elena” (PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E) robotic unit available at Virtual Telescope. The telescope tracked the apparent, sidereal motion of the stars, so the asteroid left a streak of light, crossing the edge-on galaxy NGC 684. THis is a so-called appulse.

This sight was captured during our very successful live feed. For the record, the galaxy NGC 684 is about 135 millions of light years from us… quite a strange companion of a near-Earth object!

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