Near-Earth asteroid 2020 HX3 very close encounter: an image – 23 Apr. 2020

Later today, 24 Apr. 2020, the near-Earth asteroid 2020 HX3 will have a very close, but safe encounter with our planet, coming as close as about 250.000 km, much closer than our Moon. Our robotic system tracked this object, grabbing this spectacular image.

Near-Earth Asteroid 2020 HX3 - 23 Apr. 2020.

Near-Earth Asteroid 2020 HX3 – 23 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 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 HX3 was at about 1.1 millions of km from the Earth and it was on its way approaching us. It was  discovered by the Pan-STARRS survey on 19 Apr. 2020.

This 11-24 meters large asteroid will reach its minimum distance (about 250.000 km) from us on 24 Apr. 2020, at 19:38 UTC. Of course, there are no risks at all for our planet.

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