Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 2000 KA close encounter: an image – 12 May 2020
On 12 May 2020, the potentially hazardous asteroid 2000 KA had a close, but safe encounter with our planet. It came as close as 3.39 millions of km, so about 8.4 times the average lunar distance. We captured it a few hours after the flyby and now we share this spectacular image.
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 carefully tracked the fast 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. It is marked by an arrow. It was shining at magnitude 16.1.
At the imaging time, asteroid 2000 KA was at about 3.4 millions of km from the Earth. It was already on its way leaving us.It was discovered by the LONEOS Survey on 22 May 2000.
This 120 -270 meters large asteroid reached its minimum distance (about 3.4 millions of km) from us on 12 May 2020, at 11:20 UTC. Of course, there are no risks at all for our planet.
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