Near-Earth asteroid 2020 OY4 extremely close encounter: a image – 27 July 2020
Earlier today, near-Earth asteroid 2020 OY4 had a extremely close, but safe, approach with our planet, reaching a minimum distance from the Earth of about 42000 km, 0.11 times the average distance of the Moon. We managed to capture it.
The image above comes from a single, 120-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 bright and sharp dot of light in the center of the image, marked by an arrow.
At the imaging time, asteroid 2020 OY4 was at about 250000 km from the Earth, 2/3rd of the lunar distance, and it was still safely approaching us. It was discovered by the Mt. Lemmon survey on 26 July 2020.
This 2.3-5.2 meters large asteroid reached its minimum distance (about 42000 km) from us on 28 July 2020, at 05:32 UTC. Of course, there were no risks at all for our planet.
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