Near-Earth asteroid 2020 JN very close encounter: an image – 4 May 2020

Earlier today, 4 May 2020, the small near-Earth asteroid 2020 JN had a very close, but safe encounter with our planet, coming as close as about 250.000 km, much closer than our Moon. We captured it and are happy to share this spectacular image.

Near-Earth Asteroid 2020 JN - 2 May 2020.

Near-Earth Asteroid 2020 JN – 2 May 2020.

The image above comes from a single, 60-seconds exposure, remotely taken with the “Elena” (PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E) robotic unit available at Virtual Telescope. The telescope carefully tracked the fast (470″/minute) apparent motion of the asteroid, so stars result in long trails, while the asteroid looks like a sharp dot of light in the center of the image, marked by an arrow. There was a bright Moon high in the sky.

At the imaging time, asteroid 2020 JN was at about 380000 km from the Earth (closer than our Moon) and it was on its way approaching us. It was  discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey on 4 May 2020.

This 9 -20 meters large asteroid reached its minimum distance (about 250.000 km, 65% of the average lunar distance) from us on 5 May 2020, at 03:22 UTC. Of course, there are no risks at all for our planet.

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