Near-Earth asteroid 2020 GN2 close encounter: an image – 16 Apr. 2020

We captured the near-Earth asteroid 2020 GN2 a few hours before its close, but safe encounter with our planet, coming within 1.3 lunar distances. Here it is our spectacular image.

Near-Earth Asteroid 2020 GN2. 16 Apr. 2020, 22:44 UTC.

Near-Earth Asteroid 2020 GN2. 16 Apr. 2020, 22:44 UTC.

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 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 GN2 was at about 1.25 millions of km from the Earth and it was still approaching us. It was  discovered by the Catalina Sky survey early on 13 Apr. 2020.

This 20-44 meters large asteroid reached its minimum distance (about 1.23 millions of km) from us on 16 Apr. 2020, at 09:01 UTC. Of course, there were no risks at all for our planet.

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