Near-Earth asteroid 2020 KD1 very close encounter: an image – 21 May 2020

Later today, 22 May 2020, the small near-Earth asteroid 2020 KD1 will make a very close, but safe encounter with our planet, coming as close as 400000 km, more or less the distance of the  Moon. We spotted it and here we show you our image.

Near-Earth Asteroid 2020 KD1 - 21 May 2020.

Near-Earth Asteroid 2020 KD1 – 21 May 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 part of the Virtual Telescope Project in Italy. The telescope carefully tracked the fast (132″/minute) apparent motion of the asteroid, so stars look like long trails, while the asteroid looks like a sharp dot of light in the center of the image, marked by an arrow. The object’s brightness was around mag. 17.6. This image was captured about 12 hours before of the flyby, as it will not be visible from Italy (daytime).

At the imaging time, asteroid 2020 KD1 was at about 1.4 millions of km and approaching us. It was  discovered by the Mt. Lemmon Survey on 18 May 2020.

This 7.3 – 16 meters large asteroid reached its minimum distance from us on 22 May 2020, at 11:52 UTC. Of course, there are no risks at all for our planet.

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