Near-Earth asteroid 2020 GZ2 close encounter: an image – 18 Apr. 2020
Tomorrow, the near-Earth asteroid 2020 GN2 will safely come as close as two lunar distances: we had a chance to image it.
The image above comes from a single 180-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 GZ2 was at about 1.5 millions of km from the Earth and it was approaching us. It was discovered by the Mt. Lemmon survey early on 15 Apr. 2020.
This 7-16 meters large asteroid will reach its minimum distance (about 820.000 km) from us on 19 Apr. 2020, at 11:18 UTC. Of course, there were no risks at all for our planet.
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