Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 2020 AN3 close encounter: an image (16 Jan. 2020)
Earlier today, 17 Jan. 2020, the potentially hazardous asteroid (PHA) 2020 AN3 had a safe close with our planet, reaching a minimum distance from us of 3 millions of km, 8 times the average distance the Moon. A few hours before we grabbed it, here it is our image.
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 apparent motion of the asteroid, this is why stars show as long trails, while the asteroid looks like a sharp dot of light in the center of the image, marked by an arrow.
At the imaging time, 2020 AN3 was at about 3.1 millions of km from the Earth and it was on its way approaching us. Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 2020 AN3 was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona a couple of nights ago: well done, guys!
This 230-510 meters large asteroid reached its minimum distance (3 millions of km) from us on 17 Jan. 2020, at 01:35 UTC. Of course, there were no risks at all for our planet.
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