Near-Earth asteroid 2020 PY2 very close encounter: a image – 19 Aug. 2020
Later today, near-Earth asteroid 2020 PY2 will have a very close, but safe, approach with our planet, reaching a minimum distance from the Earth of about 350000 km, 0.91 times the average distance of the Moon. We succeeded capturing it minutes ago.
The image above comes from a single, 300-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 PY2 was at about 1.5 millions km from the Earth and it was still safely approaching us. It was discovered by the Panstarrs survey on 12 Aug. 2020.
This 13-29 meters large asteroid will reach its minimum distance (about 350000 km) from us on 20 Aug. 2020, at 23:29 UTC. Of course, there are no risks at all for our planet.
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