Near-Earth asteroid 2020 HP6 extremely close encounter: a image and podcast – 26 Apr. 2020

Later today, 27 Apr. 2020, the near-Earth asteroid 2020 HP6 will have a extremely close, but safe encounter with our planet, coming as close as about 130.000 km, 1/3rd of the average lunar distance. Last night, our robotic telescopes captured this superb image.

Near-Earth Asteroid 2020 HP6 - 26 Apr. 2020.

Near-Earth Asteroid 2020 HP6 – 26 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. The very bright star on the right is Zaniah, Eta Virginis.

At the imaging time, 2020 HP6 was at about 700.000 km from the Earth and it was safely approaching us. It was  discovered by the Pan-STARRS survey on 22 Apr. 2020.

We also shared a quick live feed (with no audio) here:

This 6.7-15 meters large asteroid will reach its minimum distance (about 130.000 km) from us on 27 Apr. 2020, at 14:40 UTC. Of course, there areno risks at all for our planet.

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3 Responses

  1. Ben Zyl says:

    I’m not convinced you can describe a featureless point of light as a “superb image”.

  2. Leinani says:

    Thanks for this

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