Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (52768) 1998 OR2: new image – 25 Apr. 2020

We imaged the Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (52768) 1998 OR2 again, as part of our coverage of its safe,  close approach. Enjoy this image, but soon we will show it to you live!

Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (52768) 1998 OR2: a image - 25 Apr. 2020

Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (52768) 1998 OR2: a image – 25 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 asteroid is in the center of the image, visible as a sharp dot of light. The telescope tracked the apparent motion of 1998 OR2.

A team of radio astronomers working at Arecibo Radio Telescope has just released a few images and data, suggesting a diameter of about 2 km and a rotational period of about 4.1 hours, the latter being close to what we knew earlier.

Yesterday we released this amazing video, showing 1998 OR2 as it travels across the sky.

Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (52768) 1998 OR2 - 24 Apr. 2020.

Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (52768) 1998 OR2 – 24 Apr. 2020.

When we imaged it, asteroid 1998 OR2 was at about 6.9 millions of km from us. This large asteroid will SAFELY come as close as 6.3 millions of km from us next 29 Apr., – more than 16 times the average lunar distance: it will NOT hit us! – becoming bright enough to be seen with modest optical equipment, if you know where to look. We will show it live, online.

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