Near-Earth asteroid 2020 GF2 very close encounter: an image – 12 Apr. 2020

A few hours ago, the near-Earth asteroid 2020 GF2 had a very close, but safe encounter with our planet, coming as close as about 900.000 km, 2.4 times the distance of our Moon. Our robotic system captured this spectacular image.

Near-Earth asteroid 2020 GF2 - 12 Apr. 2020

Near-Earth asteroid 2020 GF2 – 12 Apr. 2020

The image above comes from a single, 300-seconds exposure, remotely taken with the “Elena” (PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E) robotic unit available at Virtual Telescope. The telescope tracked the fast apparent motion (120″/minute) 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 GF2 was at about 980.000 km from the Earth and it was on its way approaching us. It was  discovered by the Atlas survey early on 10 Apr. 2020.

This 17-38 meters large asteroid reached its minimum distance (about 900.000 km) from us on 12 Apr. 2020, at 10:58 UTC. Of course, there were no risks at all for our planet.

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