Near-Earth asteroid 2020 KR very close encounter: an image – 19 May 2020
Earlier today, 20 May 2020, the very small near-Earth asteroid 2020 KR made a very close, but safe encounter with the Earth, coming as close as 395.000 km, the distance of our Moon. We imaged it and are happy to share our image here.
The image above comes from a single, 300-seconds exposure, remotely taken with the “Elena” (PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E) robotic unit part of the Virtual Telescope Project. The telescope carefully tracked the fast (430″/minute) apparent motion of the asteroid, so stars look like long trails, while the asteroid looks like a very faint, but sharp dot of light in the center of the image, marked by an arrow. The object was faint (mag. 18.6) and very low (24 degrees high) on the NE horizon: this made the image hard to capture, but here it is.
At the imaging time, asteroid 2020 KR was at its minimum distance from us (about 395000 km) and it was quickly fading. It was discovered by the PanSTARRS Survey on 16 May 2020.
This 6.3 – 14 meters large asteroid reached its minimum distance from us on 20 May 2020, at 00:12 UTC. Of course, there are no risks at all for our planet.
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